Passing near the Catalina Bar and Grill last night (on my way to the Cat and Fiddle) put me in mind of the Roy Hargrove concert there of a couple of weeks ago (see also here), which in turn put me in mind of a conversation I had a week later during which something slightly disturbing occurred to me. Let me explain. (A clickable picture of Roy Hargrove in action at the concert is below)
I was having dessert over at a friends house after a nice dinner in Pasadena, and three of us were kicking around thoughts, stories, and ideas. The subject of musical likes and dislikes came up – I think because someone put something on the CD player, and one of my friends said that she did not like Jazz. I was not quite sure what she meant by this, and since she’s a friend who I like a respect a lot, I probed further. I tried to ascertain how much she’d actually heard, since I my opinion Jazz is a very large and many-splendoured thing and to say you don’t like it after having heard a little is like trying sweet and sour pork, not liking it, and then deciding that you don’t like Chinese cuisine. I explained this opinion, and having established that she preferred “classical” music, (another large and encompassing term for a huge variety, of course) I tried to explain how she might find a way into Jazz by using that as an entry point.
My point was not that she was wrong to not like Jazz, but that she should keep an open mind about it until she’s given it a fair chance. I explained another key point that might help. It usually becomes clear at a point like this in a conversation of this sort that one of the key problems for the listener is that they’re not aware of a great deal of what is going on in the music, that there are often several layers of interesting […] Click to continue reading this post