Music Is The Only Thing

I was­n’t plan­ning on writ­ing until next Monday, but I can’t seem to get away from this.

With the falling tem­per­a­tures come late morn­ings. Stepping out­side ear­li­er, the sky was still dimmed with the street lamps on from the pre­vi­ous night. It felt like the sun had already set, and it was only going to get dark­er. I was in the mood for some jazz, so I fid­get­ed on my iPod until I found a Duke Ellington col­lec­tion. Unfortunately, most of it is com­prised of big band swing songs, fast mov­ing, major keys, a sound that did­n’t quite match the mood. I set­tled on Going Up, a calm pro­gres­sive jazz piece fea­tur­ing brush­es instead of drum sticks, har­mon mutes in the trum­pets, and Les Spann on flute. Four years of pri­vate lessons, with four dif­fer­ent bands in high-school, have made me appre­ci­ate the pol­ished, round­ness of his sound. He trav­els chro­mat­i­cal­ly with utter smooth­ness on the wood­wind, and unlike on the piano, which the fin­gers can move across in one sweep­ing motion, each note is played with a seem­ing­ly ran­dom com­bi­na­tion of fin­gers. In his head, he’s four bars ahead of his fin­gers, allow­ing his into­na­tion remain pre­cise with each pur­pose­ful note.

Sometimes it feels like music is the only thing that can bring out my emo­tions again. Most of them have been replaced by sim­ple deter­mi­na­tion. Everything is busi­ness busi­ness busi­ness because the world is cold cold cold.

I’m going home for the Thanksgiving long-week­end. A much need­ed break that I’ve been plan­ning for a while now. Funny that I still call it home when it’s a five hour dri­ve away, and I own my own house in this city. Home isn’t where you grew up, it isn’t where you live now, home is where the par­ents are.


  1. I don’t know how much of a jazz lover you are, but it’s pret­ty much all I’ve lis­tened to for a cou­ple of years now. I def­i­nite­ly agree that you’ve got to be in a cer­tain kind of mood to hear big band stuff.

    Do you have any Miles Davis on your ipod? Like ‘So What’ or ‘Blue In Green’ ?

  2. I do have one Miles Davis song, which is Stella By Starlight. I also have a copy of the album Tutu, but it was a lit­tle too exper­i­men­tal for my taste.

    I’ll have to look for those two songs.

  3. Jeff, let me know if you find them and please tell me what you think. I’m curi­ous.

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