My Struggle With Jazz


I love the notion of sitting in a jazz club in Summer.  Hot and sultry, the music washing over me.  Back in my reality, I have a hard time enjoying jazz.  The slow, bluesy jazz isn’t so bad, but that snappy jazz just makes me feel confused.  I’m not sure why it bothers me.  Who cares?

I pride myself on appreciating all types of music.  When I listen to jazz, the first song is always good.  I’m thinking “I like this, it’s great”. The second song is just okay, and by the third song, I’m done.  I want to like it, but for some reason, I just don’t.

I brought this up one time in a closed Facebook group for an eclectic station that I listen to on satellite radio.  I commented “I’m not clever enough for jazz.”  I meant it as a joke, but the remark was not taken lightly.  The response was rapid.  “You need to have more of an open mind,” was the general consensus.  It was clear that these people cared a great deal about my impairment.

I talked to some people I know that love jazz.  My daughter, Catie, is a big jazz fan.  She recommended some pieces to me.  She talked to me about how jazz made her feel, and how it was such a wonderful musical genre to explore.  I wanted to get on board that train!  Some of the pieces she recommended to me were enjoyable at the beginning.  But, they soon melted into chaos, and that’s the part I have a hard time with.

My son, Tyler, who is a musician and loves jazz, took the time to explain to me the construction of a jazz piece.  I found it fascinating as we listened to a song together; identifying the different parts as they played out.  I think I liked having a stimulating conversation with him better than the music itself.  Although the technical aspects were interesting, it didn’t improve my appreciation.

Now, I know that in this crazy world we live in, with all it’s real problems, that this may seem trivial.  And it is.  It’s just something that I think about now and then.  Are there any other jazz skeptics out there?

 – Cat

2 thoughts on “My Struggle With Jazz

  1. I do not think all music is for all people, but I do like Jazz. I have also found that the more I listen to it the more I understand it. Sometimes it is meant to be complex, uneasy, dissonant, and counter melodic. I do understand that it can be more complicated than ragtime and Armstrong. I guess I am saying that it is OK to struggle with it as that might be exactly what a piece is about.


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