Lately I have been getting into jazz. Specifically so-called “cool jazz”, and even more specifically (for now) Chet Baker. I knew jack about him and his music, but after remembering how much I used to love Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” I listened to that on youtube while working and then the tube recommended Chet and now I am to be found each lonely midnight cruising slowly down Chet St, Bakersville, top down, hair slicked back, dark shades hiding my tired, seen-it-all eyes.
It’s the most excited I have felt about music in ages. I’ve been so damned over it for so long.
And now that I am enjoying listening to it again, and (perhaps not coincidentally) feeling so lost and discontent, like some spoiled, pudgy, creaky-boned teenager, despite having everything to be grateful for (middle age, you have a lot to answer for) it is making me feel like playing again. I’m full of the need to croon some smooth, blue notes. To puff smokily on a trumpet. To tinkle the ivories with my long, wrinkly lady fingers.
The fact that I can’t play piano or trumpet is a small impediment to that dream though, I admit.
However, I do OWN a trumpet and an electric piano.
We bought the piano for the kids, and it was somewhere north of six hundred bucks, so it’s not a bad one.
The trumpet? Well it looks cool, comes in a sweet retro case, but whether it is a good one or not I can’t tell. However, one thing is for sure, I could definitely make a good one sound very bad!
Regardless, I have been having a puff and, while I mostly make godawful squawking noises, there is the odd moment that sounds nice and I think “yeah baby, groovy”.
I could dig being a cool jazz guy.
For sure. Just feels more authentic than trying to rock out. I am definitely over fronting rock bands, that’s why I gave it away five or six years ago now. Just couldn’t hack it anymore. Too much energy required to throw yourself out in front of a bloody jet plane sized racket like that and flail and holler like it’s your last chance to raze the planet and violently claim the crown. Too heavy for landed gentry like me. I’d rather croon whiskey lullabies through the hazy lovelorn hush.
As for the piano, well, I might take that up too. It’s a more fundamental instrument for a musician. And I daresay that getting to a certain level of proficiency will be easier than blowing into a brass tube without impersonating the noise a thirteen year old elephant makes when getting surprise-murdered by a band of crackhead poachers armed with sharpened dried banana shivs while getting flicked with a wet tea-towel by his big brother who’s annoyed at being made to dry when THE AIR DOES THAT IF YOU JUST LEAVE THEM ON THE RACK, MUM!
* cough *
Anyhoo, what I mean is, time will tell.
Let me put it this way, this time last month I wanted to start my own cooking show, and a month before that I was Absolutely Going To Finish Writing All My Unfinished Books. So don’t carve “jazz trumpeter” on that little stone tablet in your brain under the heading “The Immutable Facts About Exactly Who Seamus Is Forever Amen” just yet. You’ll only get upset when I never mention jazz again or look if I at you blankly and be all “Chet Davis? Who the hell is that?” when you ask me how my horn skills are shaping up.
I have the attention span of a particularly studious finch and history shows that I am way, way better at starting things than finishing them.
Eh. So shoot me.