“What kind of feeling do you get when you play jazz?” I asked on the 8thgrader’s final evaluation and strangely, almost all wrote down “Calm.” Up until Miles Davis and the Birth of the Cool, jazz was pretty much considered “hot” music, that kind that revved up your energy and got you cookin’. When Miles and friends entered the scene, it was cool to be cool—lay back, nod your head a bit and sink down to a low burn. (Of course, Billie Holiday’s ballads a decade before invited you to do the same). Then Coltrane came and the heat was close to a rocket launch. And then everything at all ends and all edges in-between.
So I found it curious that the kids unilateral response to playing jazz (not just listening) was calm. Even in front of a few hundred people at the Spring Concert. I don’t wholly understand why that word was the most popular, but I don’t have to.
And hey, “calm” is good. Because it’s the opposite of how I feel when I opted to not watch the next Warriors vs Raptors play-off game because it was doing me in. But I couldn’t resist checking in on the score and Warriors were down by 3 with just over a minute to go. Do I dare check again? My heart is racing, my blood is boiling, if the number on the right is higher than the one on the left, it means my entire investment of watching almost every single playoff game may not pay-off in the American way—ie, we might lose. Stay tuned.
By 1 point. Okay, now I can watch the highlights. (But still two more games to win to win the playoffs—I’ll be in Lapland, so I guess I’ll find out later.)