Dec 24, 2005

Take Five

Jazz is on my mind this morning. And for the most part, I don't get Jazz.

I was thinking more about Classic Jazz, the old school stuff. Modern Jazz makes very little sense to me. I'm one of those folk who like a little more structure to my music, and jazz by it's very nature is not about structure. So, I like a little of the old stuff, where it still seems like music but has a certain--I don't know. A kind of freedom, I guess.

The funny part of it is what a lot of the pre-MTV generation will understand better than the younger folk: remember when all you had to 'know' a musical artist was their album? If you were terribly lucky they provided a few tiny photos of the artists on the album sleeve or something, or the performer was like Alice Cooper, someone who relied on his physical image to help sell the act. You knew their voices, knew their sound checks if you had a live album on your hands, and you might be lucky enough to catch them on a radio talk show or see them in concert from the nosebleed seats. And then MTV and videos came along, and we all got to know (sometimes quite intimately) what each and every performer looked like, at their worst and best.

So it came as a shock to me last night to actually see Vince Guaraldi. You know, the Vince Guaraldi of The Vince Guaraldi Trio, they who penned and played the Charlie Brown music, the V. G. who wrote "Linus and Lucy," the music that opened every single Charlie Brown cartoon ever. THAT Vince Guaraldi. I was watching a show on ABC I think it was, last night, had half an eye on it, and anyway, they were talking to the last survivor of The Trio, and then they showed a still photo of Mr. Guaraldi.

Before I continue, let me say this. I like The Dave Brubeck Quartet. I LOVE "Take Five." I'm pretty enamoured of a lot of their music. And if you've seen Dave Brubeck, you know what I mean when I say that he could have worked in NASA's Mission Control for one of the Apollo moonshots. Short brushcut, white short-sleeved shirt, black tie, black slacks. The ultimate 1950's man. He played some very unorthodox music, and I guess he liked to hide his unorthodoxy behind the uniform of the times. *shrug* Either way, it always tickled me to know that this very conservative looking gentleman helped reshape modern music.

So it was with this expectation that I saw Vince Guaraldi. Boy was I thrown for a loop. Huge head of hair all duck-tailed and swooped, a crazed look in his eyes, arms crossed in a very agressive attitude, and the most impressive, wooliest set of handlebar moustaches I have seen in a terribly long time. Scared the bejeebus out of me, I can tell you right now.

You think you know a guy...

1 comment:

Vulgar Wizard said...

Hey, PawPaw, you like jazz? You ol' geezer.