“DO YOU LIKE JAZZ?”

I’ve decided to post a photograph of myself — but with an explanation.

The Beloved (as a special gift to me) commissioned Lorna Sass, photographer and transformational life-coach, to do a photo shoot.  The rather serious portrait above is the result, taken in Central Park, with your blogger in full outdoor regalia.  (We attempted photos of me in my natural habitat: in darkness with a video camera obscuring half my face, but the results were less successful.)

Why am I showing off in this fashion? 

For me, some of the deepest rewards of the hours I spend on this blog have been my getting to meet kindred souls at a jazz gig. 

Politely, they ask, “Excuse me, are you JAZZ LIVES?”  “Are you that person who comes here all the time and posts things on a blog?”

These inquiries give me great pleasure — not for ego alone, but for the chance to meet someone new who shares my feelings for the music and the musicians.  I get to talk with someone who loves the way Joel Forbes plays the blues, who gets excited when talking about Bill Savory’s discs. 

And my sense of a large, living, friendly jazz community is renewed and enhanced in the most warm way. 

I don’t go home thinking, “The music I love will not survive”; rather, I think, “Lucy or Jerome or X or Y is a wonderful person, and I’ve made a new friend who shares my essential values.  We are not so alone!”

I would have stayed undercover except for a sweetly amusing incident that happened two nights ago at a Brooklyn beer garden that featured, for that night, a wonderful band and singer, with enthusiastic swing dancers enjoying themselves.  One pair of dancers was particularly sinuous and expert, in close physical harmony, and I couldn’t stop watching them even as a video-recorded the music. 

At a set break, I walked over to compliment them.  And the young woman (a wonderful dancer), having noted me at the bar with my videocamera, hearing my enthusiasm, asked very kindly, “Do you like jazz?” 

I restrained any impulses to say, “Do bears like honey?” or the like.  I grinned at the couple, took out my card, and presented it to her.  “Oh!” she said, “I follow your blog!” 

The interchange was very nice, but it made me think that perhaps I should come out into the public eye just a few tentative steps more.  It might say something about my nature that I took to the woods to do so, but you are free to draw your own conclusions. 

I don’t want more attention; in fact, I want to be unobtrusive and let the musicians shine — but I thought that emerging in this way wouldn’t (as the Sage Condon said) do anyone any harm.

7 responses to ““DO YOU LIKE JAZZ?”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention “DO YOU LIKE JAZZ?” | JAZZ LIVES -- Topsy.com

  2. Are you sure you are not James K. Williams, known as ‘Whip’ to his many friends? The resemblance is…..other worldly!

  3. I would have been happy to write Whip’s Jimmie Noone book, but when I check out my driver’s license it has my name on it — so all resemblances must be coincidental. The question is whether JKW feels the same way and is happy / amused or irate / dismayed, don’t you think? Cheers, Michael (last I looked)

  4. I don’t disapprove of your stepping out of the shadows, if only in baby steps. Even though I’ve only been following your blog for a short while, it still brings me hope that the music will live on. Thank you.

  5. Whilst I may not agree fully with all your comments I do believe that at least you speak from within and therefore bow to your enthusiam and endeavour in producing a worthwhile tribute to time served journeymen in the JAZZ idiom!
    As a musician who could never lace the boots of most of your featured artists I pay tribute to your endeavour and their prowess.
    I especially like the your ” ear” sessions and promise to visit the gig and stand in front of your camera for at least a full chorus not to break the continuity!
    Seriously I really enjoy your blog and videos and as we say in my country ” Lang may your lum reek”

    A Merry Xmas and a better New Year

    Best regards

    Billy

  6. Dear Billy,

    We never have to agree on everything — that would be boring. I’m happy to have made your acquaintance, and I wish you the same sentiments in return. May I guess “Scotland”? Be well (as we say here)! Michael

  7. “Long may your chimney smoke,” too! (Even if your heating is electrical in this century, we get the gist.)

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