Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Experience it. Feel it. Enjoy it.

I bought an old record album Monday evening.

"The Sound of Jazz," on Columbia Records, was the companion LP to one of the greatest moments in TV history. That came Dec. 8, 1957, when the program of the same name aired as part of CBS' short-lived The Seven Lively Arts anthology.

A few days before, all the jazz greats featured on the television program gathered in a Columbia Records studio to commit music set for the TV program to magical grooves in round slabs of vinyl. The LP hit stores the next year -- '58 -- and now one of them sits next to me in the Revolution 21 studio.

I am a happy man. I own the TV show on DVD. I own the 54-year-old record now, too.

As I revisit The Sound of Jazz -- the TV show . . . the LP will be savored later today -- I am struck by a remark from the show's host, New York Herald Tribune media critic John Crosby. Hell, nearly literally.

"There's not gonna be a lot of talk on this program today," Crosby said at the program's start. "I'm not gonna interpret jazz, analyze it, bring you its history. The important thing about jazz is to experience it -- feel it. Enjoy it. "

That's it. That's 3 Chords & the Truth, the podcast arm of this august (cough) media empire (snort). I'm not going to go all public radio on you and analyze jazz -- or any other music -- to death. It's not an endless list of everyone playing on a session . . . for every bloody song.

Music is not work. Music is joy.

"The important thing about jazz is to experience it -- feel it. Enjoy it." Ditto for rock. And punk. And country. And blues.

That's rather like life, don't you think?

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