THE JAZZ IN UTAH

Hunting for something evocative on the FM radio in the car as we made our way through this beautiful state, I said wryly to the Beloved that it was ironic that the “Utah Jazz” was a famous sports team . . . but that so far I hadn’t heard any jazz in Utah except for those moments of Jack Purvis and Bobby Hackett I had provided myself through the iPod.

Serendipity was at work, though.  Tonight, in a Hampton Inn in Provo (very nice — although with the modern perversity of a wall-mounted television set in the bathroom, for the multi-taskers among us) I went in search of a cup of Earl Grey.  As I walked towards the lobby, I heard two distinct strains of sound.  One, rather harsh, I could identify as the huge flat-screen television in the “breakfast room.”  Predictable and reasonably easy to block out.  The other, sweeter strain, was familiar — and startling in its familiarity.  Had you been able to shadow me, you would have found me standing in the middle of a deserted hall of rooms, a hall of locked doors, with my face turned towards the little white plastic speaker in the ceiling.  Reverent.  Rapt.

What was I hearing?  Nothing less than Louis Armstrong, circa 1956, from the Decca MUSICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY, singing and playing GEORGIA ON MY MIND.   I stood there, surprised by joy (to recall C.S. Lewis) until the last high note died out.  Ashley, the young woman on duty at the desk, told me that corporate headquarters makes up a new “playlist,” hours long, and sends the Inn a new version regularly.  What forces were at work to get me in the hall at the moment Louis was singing and playing I cannot tell, but I’m grateful to what or whomever they might be.  “The road leads back to you,” indeed!

Louis Huff Post

3 responses to “THE JAZZ IN UTAH

  1. sam parkins

    Total serendipity- I sent out only today to divers colleagues a link to the famous 1933 Copenhagen ‘Dinah’ clip:

    Jon-Erik as usual gets it right…sam p

  2. Bill Gallagher

    The Utah Jazz basketball team is a team whose franchise was relocated from New Orleans. Now, “The New Orleans Jazz” makes some sense. Why, however, Utah decided to stick with the “Jazz” is beyond me – and everyone else

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s