Comfort-Food Jazz


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By Steve Provizer

As Flann O'Brien once wrote, in “At-Swim-Two-Birds":

“When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When life seems black as the hour of night,
A pint of plain is your only man."

Well, the man was an alcoholic, so his RX for the blues was a little narrow.

Jazz may not be the magic elixir. It may not make the lame strap on roller blades. It may not even make ugly people look better at closing time, but still we turn to it for succor.

In this needy state, you may find your choices are less adventurous than usual. If it was food you chose to fill the hole in your soul, you might pass on the escargots and go for the beef stew. It's it's music, you might opt for cozy over adventurous-at least I do. What do I want for my “comfort jazz"? Allowing myself the obligatory ten choices:

Mulligan, Getz and Brookmeyer together.
Late Billie Holiday
Early Ellington
Coltrane's Crescent
Miles on Prestige
Dizzy singing
Clifford's “Ghost of a Chance"
King Pleasure
Ella doing ballads during the 50's
Eldridge-"After You've Gone"

What's your jazz for solace?

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This story appears courtesy of Brilliant Corners, a Boston Jazz Blog.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.


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