I went out with a couple of friends last night, after a very busy evening at the movies. (Everyone in Bar Harbor wanted to see The Bucket List, apparently!) There was live jazz at McKays, and although we got there late, we were in time to catch the last couple of sets. There was an upright bassist, and singer, and a saxophonist. They were pretty good.
I found myself fascinated, and a little puzzled by the bassist. Not the man himself, but his left hand making it’s way seemingly effortlessly up and down the neck of the bass, picking out a random but overall cohesive collection of notes. And constantly doing so, without hesitation.
I couldn’t quite comprehend how this all was done, because my own musical training is so based upon structured melody, and jazz is several steps off the sidewalk in that regard. Oddly so though, for the overall sound is pleasing and melodic, yet the individual notes are often in slight discordance.
There is probably a technique to playing the bass in a jazz ensemble, and less mystery than I am conjuring up. As I sat there last night, though, watching as much as I was listening, I took a certain delicious pleasure in my puzzlement. It is exciting to witness something that tugs you beyond your range of experience.
Jazz is fun! Jazz is like spring weather – both make you feel a little more awake and alive. We’ve had some lovely mild days with plenty of sunlight this week, and I can feel the little blossom inside me getting fatter and starting to uncurl.
As my friends agreed last night, the spring weather is making us feel remarkably social. We’ve had enough of curling up on the couch with books and DVDs. We desire lively people and laughter.
We desire jazz. 🙂