Friday, January 18, 2013
There are some bands that are timeless from Dad's era. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elvis, ABBA to name a few. Dad will talk about the good ole Days before Ke$ha and One Direction (or as he calls them, One Dimension) infected the radio. A time before cassettes and CDs ruined the warmth a record or 8-Track brought to the sound. And in many days, Dad is right. His era of music was really good. However, there is one genre of music that only Dads understand and truly appreciate. Jazz.
Now I enjoy going to the Green Mill on Broadway as much as anyone. But it does not mean I know a damn thing about jazz and whether the music is good or not, it all sounds the same to me. For a child though, this is pure torture being dragged to a jazz club. You have to dress nice, comb your hair, and every time you talk at the table you are shushed. But look at dear ole Dad. Sitting there with a tall drink no one has ordered since the USA was on the gold standard calmly swaying his head to the beat with his eyes closed. In between sets he will exclaim "Did you hear how that trumpet filled?" or "That guy is really tickling those ivories!". He will discuss how he liked the improv difference versus his record of the song, and how it sounds like this old Jazz musician (his name will always begin with Ole' or Smoky or something really grizzled). You of course just nod and count down the minutes till you can bust out that Nintendo DS in the car ride home. To your horror, Dad will pump up the jazz radio station, which is always called something like The Oasis, on the way home because he isn't satisfied. It sounds like you are in a traveling Weather Channel Update On The 8s.
Dad also likes listening to his old mothball smelling Jazz records on the turntable that mom got him 30 years ago. Sitting there re-reading (yes re-reading) an old National Geographic or TIME with a good pour of Scotch is a great way for Dad to spend a Friday night. Of course it will always end with him falling asleep with his reading glasses on and the record spinning all night as the turntable needle floats in the air, the music ending two hours before. Jazz is soothing to those over the age of 30. To the rest of us it is just a weird racket. That doesn't mean Dad won't drag you to another performance next week though...