Jazzy Jeff

The other night we stopped by Pete Miller‘s to see my pal and drummer, Jeffrey Lien, play some jazz. As much magic as he makes with my tunes, his real chops are in the jazz world. Which I totally dig. In fact, I pretty much only listen to jazz these days. I don’t see that much live music, frankly, and when I do, well, it’s usually jazz. Hell, right now I have jazz playing in the background.

Admittedly, this is a bit strange for someone who expends most of his creative energy writing pop songs. And maybe it’s just because I sort of OD’ed on the pop/rock sound. But jazz — though it can often be cheesy… or tedious… or even nauseating — is ever-versatile. High art becomes background noise, and vice-versa.

This duplicity used to frustrate me. How could I reconcile blandly tuning out musical masterworks over dinner with the devoted attention I paid to every improvised note of a Coltrane or Evans? Is it right to buy a Rothko simply because it matches your color scheme?

I’ll explore this a bit more tomorrow…

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