Jazz Appreciation Month was created 13 years ago at the Smithsonian, which considerately provides this list of 112 ways to celebrate jazz. My own appreciation for jazz developed late in life. Although my partner of 30 years was a professional jazz musician, I’m just a little bit resistant and considered jazz to be his music. I didn’t listen to much of it at all.
But a character in a story I was writing turned out to be a big jazz fan. I knew enough to make the guy’s interest in jazz believable, but somewhere along the re-write route—a few years after my partner died—I started along my own path to becoming an actual jazz fan.
If my partner were around to compare notes (sorry!) now, we would probably discover some shared interests, although he might be a bit surprised to learn that I named the cat I have now Naima, after the John Coltrane tune of the same name.
I’m sure we would also find that our preferences don’t completely overlap. For example, I’m a huge Sonny Rollins fan, and I can’t recall ever seeing a Sonny Rollins LP or CD among my partner’s music collection.
Jazz has all kinds of moods, high and low, fast and slow, sunny and blue. But this post is about celebration, so I give you the most celebratory Sonny Rollins tune of all, Don’t Stop the Carnival, performed live at the International Jazz Festival in Montreal in 1982. Simply joyous! So please enjoy it.
This post is part of April’s 30 Days of Celebration. To read more, click on the Celebration category link.