Friday

Those jazz recordings where you can hear the sounds of busboys clattering dishes and the barely palpable rise and fall of kitchen noise as waiters push through the kitchen door . . . this session was recorded at a really jumping restaurant, and the mics are picking up everything . . . even some of the chatter of customers at the tables . . . even the crash of some stoned busboy who has just annihilated an entire tray of champagne glasses because he slipped on some melted butter . . . and I’m hearing this recording on my car radio on WUCF, this great jazz station down here, as I drive down the highway . . . it reminds me of when I used to work in restaurants. I always knew jazz was cool, but I wasn’t into it. Like - into it into it. Now I am sort of into it. But only as part of a total, general, rampant music exploration I’ve been on lately. This exploration has led me into every direction - all types of music. Because there’s only so much you can do with the typical rock and roll lineup - drums, vocals, guitar - maybe two, bass. I still love that stuff, but I’m exploring other stuff now too.

It’s great. The jazz tunes - the melodies - the outlines of the songs - they’re already in my head - from those many nights lugging around trays and racks of glasses, cases of booze and bus pans - that jazz music was playing in the restaurants where I worked, sometimes live. I knew those tunes were cool. I knew they were important. I just didn’t know the names or the history. I still don’t know much, but those tunes are in my head, and now that I listen to this jazz station, and I hear DJ’s like Allan Rock, talking about these musicians and these sessions and the history . . .

12 comments:

R's Musings said...

Last time I heard it live was on my honeymoon (15 yrs. ago...just yesterday) in Montreal, at a restaurant that served BBQ ribs & Jazz. I don't know a lot about it either, but all that brass, drums, and strings sounds cool, doesn't it? And hey, Bobby, thanks--just noticed my blog on your list! --Robin

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey Bobby,
I'll listen to all kinds of music, except rap. Also, your comments are always welcome on my blog. I, and the others that respond, appreciate your feedback. --Jim

Bruce Hodder said...

There's a pub around the corner from me called the Horseshoe where they have live jazz every Monday night. I can hear it from my bedroom on summer nights when the windows are open and the air is still.
The quality of the bands that appear varies, as it's a very small venue and it can't pay much, but when I go in to watch it's always a great experience: the sound of sax and trumpet blowing ten footsteps away across the aisle, the chatter of the crowd, the way these things combine in your head when the beer you're drinking starts to take effect...after two pints I start tripping and fantasising it's 1955 and I'm Kerouac catching some classic artist in a nightclub somewhere.
But the most atmospheric recording I've ever heard is a folk album: Michelle Shocked's "Texas Campfire Tapes". Anyone know it? On there you can hear crickets chirping, people talking in the firelight, even a truck pulling out somewhere nearby. Folk is very cool, in my book. It's the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

Dave said...

How fortunate to have jazz on the radio! Most of what I know about the music (not much) I learned from listening to college station, years ago. If I were ever to start collecting music again, i think i'd focus on jazz, world music and roots music. I used to own some great live blues records - one by Hound Dog Taylor comes to mind. I like it when the audience talks back 'cause they're all drunk and shit.

Anonymous said...

Careful man, that shit can be addictive.

sawni

Anne said...

I like listening to old Dinah Washington for the same reason. She banters with the people in the clubs. It's cool.

Anonymous said...

The only thing better than jazz are "jazz cigarettes,"
if you know what I mean.

City Chicken.

Bobby said...

I heard that - hell yeah!

R's Musings said...

Hey Bobby,
Are you becoming the "inactive blogger?" Hope things are well with you! --Robin

Bobby said...

I know, I suck. I finally got a job, and I'm tired all the time now. I'll catch up soon.

Anne said...

Listen to Nina Simone's Verve sessions. Classic.

potentially lethal said...

I love the way you write. Very much like you're thinking out loud.

That's the best way to write, and I enjoy your blog very much.

As for jazz - yeah it IS cool. And I, like you, am "sort of" into it.

Whenever I hear jazz, it soothes me. It makes me think of New York, the streets and traffic there. Central Park. And all of the people. Especially the artists.

It always makes me think of New York in the fall........

Don't know why.