Sweet Ache of Music

I’ve been watching Ken Burn’s Jazz for a while now, ever since I noticed it was up on Netflix streaming.  It’s a fantastic series, and especially highly recommended if you enjoy jazz and/or history.  Yesterday I watched some of the episodes (can they be individual episodes when they’re often a couple hours long themselves?) that covered the developments in jazz during the Great Depression.

It amazes me that music older than my own parents can fill me nostalgia and sweet reminiscence the way that this does.  I’ve mentioned before that my maternal grandfather was a pianist, and that for a great deal of my childhood, he was like a third parent.  The functional upside of this is I was exposed to a rather unorthodox musical background for a child of the 80’s.  My early childhood was primarily filled with popular American classics played with flair, with beautiful classical sonatas and most of all with boogie-woogie.  There are recordings of me as a little girl, starting at five, six, seven, shouting, “Make me dance, grandpa!”  And he would play.

I don’t know whether others, when they hear the sweet notes of Begin the Beguine have the same transcendent rush, and a comparable ache at the unbelievable sweetness of Artie Shaw’s clarinet, but I hope that it is to some degree, universal.  I should think that the beauty of Mood Indigo is self-evident, and that any human heart would leap hearing those signature beats of Sing, Sing, Sing.


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