Cory wrote this to me, and suggested it would be OK if I posted it here. It’s eminently worth mentioning that since receiving the below, he also said he’s been listening to a bunch of Monk, which I endorse.
I will try to turn him on to Mingus, I promise.
For me, 2017 was the year of jazz. I’m embracing my participation in this near-universal cliché. The jazz phase is inevitable for so many of us, like the Led Zeppelin phase, or the trying-real-hard-to-care-about-Leonard-Cohen phase. I knew almost nothing about jazz before I dove in, which has made it even more pronounced. I’m glad I waited until 35 to do all this, because if I’d have done it in my 20s, I’d have been insufferable. No one wants to hear anyone else talk about jazz. I know that from being on the other end of the conversation many times.
So far, my favorite record is “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. It’s the kind of record where, when you hear it for the first time, you feel like you’re the only person to know it. It feels like a secret. It’s moody, it’s dark, it’s heartbreaking. Of course, everyone’s already in the loop except me. Howie’s got a cat named after him. But I’d rather be a little late to the party than sleep through the whole thing, I guess, especially when there are trumpets!
Favorite group/artist: David Brubeck Quartet. They do everything that I really love about jazz. It’s mostly beautiful, often jarring, atmospheric, and experimental without being up inside their own butts. If I’m feeling sentimental, Vince Guaraldi Trio is also great. It’s amazing to me that his music was used for children’s programming (“Peanuts”), even though it’s clearly made specifically for heroin addicts to have something to listen to.