Mallorca Bulletin

Hey, I Like Jazz - It’s Really Cool Man!

- By Frank Leavers

THE town in which we are living has been holding a major Jazz Festival and the gigs that I have attended have been uniformly really good - or as muttered by the many in attendance - “…really cool man.” In fact I have quite surprised myself in terms of how much I have enjoyed the music and the various elements of the jazz/blues on offer. Part of this surprise might be to do with the somewhat jaded perception I have of jazz and all its works. You see, for decades the very mention of the word ‘Jazz' would have me smiling at the thought of fingerclic­king musicians, musically spiralling up their own - you know what's! Hey, and I'm not talking about traditiona­l-jazz either, as practised by the likes of Kenny Ball or Acker Bilk - no, I'm talking of jazz in the style of Miles Davis John Coltrane and Charlie

Parker and I have to say, I really enjoy it. Now then, this got me into thinking about the fact that most of us rarely stray from the musical genres of our teens and twenties, but given the chance, it maybe that we might be drawn away from our usual diet of Hard Rock, Glam Rock - Punk and Brit-Pop. Mind you dear reader, I would need a lot of persuading to involve myself in either slackjawed Country & Western tales of woe, or thinking about it, most forms of Folk Music - what with all that finger-in-the-ear business going on. Each to his own, that's what I say!

Neverthele­ss, in saying all this, it seems to me that we are going through a particular­ly dire time music wise at the moment. Come on, if I hear another semi-hysterical British male crooner wailing on about, well - almost anything really, I might turn to Rap or - er, er, Garage…or whatnot! To make my street credibilit­y even less enviable I have taken a liking to certain types of classical music - as long as it doesn't go on for too long and a soprano doesn't join in and shriek her way through the chorus - or whatever they call it. While I'm on the subject, I can never quite understand why friends will drive hundreds of miles to a ‘big-name' gig, spend a fortune on tickets and be sat so far away from the stage where their idols are performing that they just watch and listen to them on the surroundin­g big screens - come on you could do that via the television at home couldn't you? Much better I would think, would be to find a local venue where ‘live' music of any descriptio­n is played (there are many such places on the island) and maybe, just maybe why not experiment with your deeply conservati­ve musical tastes and try something different for a change? Personally, my sudden and alarming embrace of modern jazz has revitalise­d my interest in music and I no longer believe The Lighthouse Family to be the epitome of cool. So then, what I am clumsily trying to say is that it is quite okay for your musical tastes to change as you get older and it doesn't mean that you are somehow being disloyal to the time when so-called boy and girlbands filled the charts and airwaves with their dreadful manufactur­ed dross.

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