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Let's Talk about Jazz (论爵士)

Last weekend,after dining with friends,I went to Schwarzman Center for a Jazz concert titled "Jazz: A Celebration of America's Sound."

What I have found interesting about Jazz in comparison with pop music I have grown up listening to is that I cannot really remember the melody as clearly as I do with pop music. Rather than inserting specific melody or tune into my memory, Jazz is extremely powerful in dragging me into a specific mood. Although some pop music manage to do the same, Jazz does it rather differently. Without a smooth and memorable tune, Jazz instead dances freely within a framework. The notes are unpredictable, but they correspond to the so-called emotional expectation. It's as if catching a lively fish in a water frame by hand. Although one finds it hard to actually catch the fish, one can comfortably sit back and watch it swimming in the water frame.

The dancing notes of Jazz also convey a sense of humor, a sense that serious emotion or thought can be casually delivered. There is a play of triviality but also a driving momentum to deliver a certain message. The energy to proceed is no less than any other genres of music. It's like "San Wen"(散文), rather directionless but with a ultimate direction. Such manifestation through a spectrum rather than a clear note resembles quantum physics in which clarity and determinism are shown through unclarity and indeterminism. The more you know about the position, the less you know about its momentum. In order to gain a decent understanding of both position and momentum, ambiguity is necessary and microscopic accuracy is sacrificed for macroscopic accuracy. The power of distancing from extreme determinism in the case of quantum physics shows insight about Jazz whose casualness and randomness is not its weakness, but a display of its tolerance, tolerance of abnormality, patience with failing to achieve an immediate goal, and resilience of always bouncing forward refusing to repeat the past.

So much about Jazz I shall keep exploring and will share again soon. Below is the piece of Jazz that accompanies the writing of this blog.

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