The Gist and Jest of Jazz and Death

'Summertime Jazz' by Jay Schwartz“Over all, I think the main thing a musician would like to do is give a picture to the listener of the many wonderful things that he knows of and senses in the universe.”
– John Coltrane
 
“I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
– Woody Allen

 

As a writer and someone who tends to ‘feel and think’ his way through life, I have certain subjects I often feel compelled to write significantly about since they intensely stir the very core of my existence. Today, I’m referring to jazz and death – the former with love, the latter with fear. Time to connect the dots.

Please note that this essay is not the big magnum opus I plan on writing one day on these topics, but merely my attempt to broach related issues of an existential nature (breathe, breathe, breathe). In fact, I’m quite aware that in all likelihood I will probably never write what I’d like to, since I’m mindful of the fact that any attempt to do so would fall short … simply because jazz and death are both larger than life. Moreover, descriptions of jazz are just as elusive as rationalizations of death. Most literature provides the gist, but misses the jest. That’s where I come in.

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Dadaisn’tism: Copious Habeas (and other assorted frothy nothings)

Dada - Jasyaspora by Jay Schwartz“I know that you have come here today to hear explanations. Well, don’t expect to hear any explanations about Dada. You explain to me why you exist. You haven’t the faintest idea.”
 – Tristan Tzara
“I like to sleep. There is no set time of day for sleep. You sleep when you’re tired, that’s all there is to it.”
Thelonious Monk

 

It’s not easy tipping the planet back on it’s axis. Somewhere along the way, our way of life fell into a form of ‘gimbal lock‘. With reference to the Apollo 11 Moon mission, I could explain what this condition means, but doing so would detract from its poetic ‘bombasity’. And, after all, what would be the point of enjoying poetic license if I couldn’t take liberties with the ‘unliberated’? Which brings me to the point of this post …

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