So for me jazz is an artist’s way of making me feel good through music, kudos to the jazz musician for making me feel good. Now other types of music may have the same effect on others like jazz does for me and that is awesome; the route to my nirvana musically is jazz I would say. I think it’s important to find the things that have a positive effect in your life as much as possible; I find we discover this way too late. Writing is one of those things for me and there is some small part of me that hopes this is one way I can have a positive effect on others; I do realize it’s a little selfish of me all around, because I do enjoy it and I probably wouldn’t do it otherwise. As I have always said, it is hard for us humans to escape that paradox of selfishness because it has been absolutely key to our survival; without the hardwired survival instinct our species would have died out a long time ago. Therein lies the difficulty with selfless acts.
Recently I was fortunate enough to experience a real jazz club in New York City, at least as real as you can get considering it is not the hay day of jazz. The place was amazing for this small town boy who is sometimes out of place. I have reasons to be in the small town and the big city, the struggle between them can be epic. Maybe it was the good meal we had, the company I was in, the late hour that it was, the few drinks we had, or maybe it was the pure feeling of joy experienced listening to music that touches the soul; never-the-less, it was something I will always remember. The night got my brain going in strange tangents as usual and I pondered how great it would be for me to come back in my next life as a jazz pianist. I couldn’t think of anything better to happen to me; my path to enlightenment through playing jazz on the piano, ah nirvana. Now I don’t subscribe to this belief as I don’t believe anyone can truly know their path, but how awesome would that be? Once I die, weird I know, I expect everyone to be on the lookout for my reincarnated self moonlighting as a jazz pianist.
Introspection, philosophy, the path to enlightenment, no matter the means I consider it a good thing. To know oneself and our impact on everything and everyone around us is fundamental to being better, no matter what that means. Jazz for me is a little philosophy, there is no way an artist can create something so wonderful without sharing some good part of themselves with all who hear them. Experiencing that for me was the simplest reminder to try every day to be better, somehow, someway; for me, for others, the effort is needed moment to moment in the world today. I wander from day to day, experience to experience, searching for something, often latching onto anything that makes me smile in any way possible; I find it necessary, we all should. I know we are animals, we are selfish to our very core, the trick is to recognize this and do everything possible to not act like it; with any luck we will experience the good and so will everyone else. So go and find your muse and may it be positive; the worst case scenario you will smile and someone else will see you smile…and it will spread.