Someone decided who knows how many years ago than April would be Jazz Appreciation Month. I guess someone felt jazz was unappreciated or underappreciated as a musical form. It doesn’t sell nearly as well as rock, country, or hip-hop. Jazz gets very little attention at the Grammy Awards, yet jazz is as American as baseball and cherry pie.
Jazz is always changing. More than any other genre, it’s defined by improvisation and experimentation. Maybe that’s why jazz has a relatively small but tightly knit group of artists and followers – because jazz doesn’t stand still for anyone or anything.
Jazz is continually moving in different directions. Sure, there are subgenres of jazz – ragtime, swing, and “smooth” jazz – that are safe, predictable, slow to change, and easy to embrace. But to me, that’s not what jazz is about.
Jazz is about being expansive, routinely laying down new rules while respecting the existing ones, and not playing it safe. Jazz is about testing assumptions and inventing. Jazz is definitely not “let’s stick with what works.”
I’m not a jazz aficionado. I’m not a musician by trade. I cannot argue musical theory. I cannot say without fear of reproach that jazz is the best music there ever was, is, and will be. I just know what I like. For me, every day is Jazz Appreciation Day.
Enjoy your weekend.