Lately I’ve been serenading my ear drums with works from legendary musicians like Sidney Bechet. Vocalists like Ms. Ella Fitzgerald and Mr. Louie Armstrong have opened my soul to the ragtime’s of the early 20th century — jazz. Sometimes I’m led to believe that this discovery of my new found love is because of the sultry delivery of singers, but I know it’s their talents accompanied by the instrumental expertise of pioneers in jazz that have created this thing that I love so.
We all know a good song when we hear it, but how many of them actually tell a story? The beauty of a scat line or a dixieland composition is its emergence in a historical time period in America. While the origins of jazz can be found in African roots from string instruments like the banjo and other African rhythmic beats, we know that the evolution of this genre of music carried on throughout The Harlem Renaissance. Sometimes I try to imagine that time. As I queue my Jazz playlist on Spotify I allow my mind to create a wonderland of ‘la vie dans le jazz‘ [the life of jazz].