Jazz. A pure and unforeseen rendezvous between two disparate worlds. Improvised happenstance intertwined with uncompromised rigor, perfection and skill. One branch of meticulous exactitude, tenderly grafted with a branch of one’s very soul. An endlessly spiraling double helix of precision and passion. Calculated frenzy. Methodical ecstasy. Rigorous and scrupulous indignation.

Jazz makes me believe in God. That somehow within what first appears as chaos or discord, beneath the surface has meaning, purpose and is being mindfully orchestrated in great detail. To understand the beauty in the complexity, you need only to focus in, close your eyes, tap your toe and let it wash over you until the notes being transported from page to palpability become one with you. Jazz finds dissonance and creates harmony. God does the same.

I watched the movie Whiplash last night. If music has ever meant something to you, please go see it immediately. I spent the ten minutes following the movie with tears streaming down my face. In admitting this, I’m probably going to weird out most of my friends, especially those who have seen it, but I’m stating it anyway, because there are a select few who will completely understand, and it’s worth drawing nearer to those few. Strange, irrepressible weeping was all I could do the minute it ended. This was partially due to the movie having been incredibly well made, and perfectly captured every painstaking emotion of a well-told story, but it’s also because music has real, inexplicable power. It will enrich your own life to tap into that power in whatever way you are able.

I’m thankful to Whiplash for waking me out of my indie folk coma and inspiring me to dust off my Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Brubeck wafts from my speakers as I write these words. Friends, music is an astounding and life-giving force. Whether your balm be jazz, classical, pop, or polka matters not. Turn it up. Close your eyes, and, to quote the sage advice of Marc Broussard, “Let the music get down in your soul.”


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