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Understanding Jazz A mellow vibration lingers throughout a smoke-filled room as eloquent music escapes the callused fingers of relaxed musicians The tempo speeds up and grows into a fusion of spontaneous and uneven chords exploding with rhythmic soul and life The sound of jazz embraces the room Jazz is primarily a dazzling spellbinding introspective beauty The musician and the listener find they can derive meaning from the music The music exists first and its meaning is defined later When a jazz musician is improvising he is spontaneously composing and at that moment his music is completely subjective He must imagine the future in his music He cannot transcend the subjectivity of the improvisation because it is created while it is being played Every performance is new giving it a fresh and exciting twist Life cascades from the music giving it emotion The audience can feel the depression of the blues the hype of swing the funk of bebop and hard bop and the dazzle of numerous instruments The coolness of jazz invades and captures the mind with brilliant originality Jazz is the future of itself What that means is that within each improvisation there the entire body of black music --- ancient to the present --- is at work Jazz exists only in the present because it is like Heraclitus river --- it can never be played exactly the same way twice If jazz has any purpose it is a way to discover to create and to define a missing part within human beings of what it means to be human In this sense jazz could be called an existential art Jazz musicians create their essence by playing jazz as Eric Dolphy claimed Ill never leave jazz Ive put too much of myself into jazz already and Im still trying to dig in deeper
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