One of the few things that Suw and I don’t really agree upon is music, although we’re both working on finding common musical ground. I’m a jazz fan – swing, bop, hard-bop, cool, some 1960s free, and hell, even a a few of the hot fives back from the 1920s.
It can be such achingly beautiful music. In 1998, when I lived in Ann Arbor Michigan, I saw Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter on their 1+1 tour. It was a transcendent experience. For the hour and a half they played, nothing existed outside the hall. I was completely absorbed by the music.
And it’s just as much fun to play as it is to listen to. I played trombone for about 12 years, and I hope to go back to playing at some point. During much of my teen years, I played in jazz bands, big bands mostly, apart from the radical experiments in my friend Chuck’s basement. For many years, music was just as important form of self-expression as writing.
I’ve been slowly trying to infect Suw with my love of jazz – with variable results. She did give me an iPod Nano for Christmas. That alone was brill, but she also went out and found jazz that she liked.
One of the songs that she included was “So What“, the lead track off of Kind of Blue. “So What” has one of the best intros in all of jazz. The way Miles slides into a shimmering cymbal shot backed by this gorgeous boom from Paul Chamber’s bass is just unimaginably beautiful. A rainy London Saturday gave way to yet another gray London Sunday, but I can’t think of any better soundtrack for a rainy morning than listening to Kind of Blue. It’s all about turning your blue into green.