How would you describe the color red to a color blind person?”
“It’s the heat in your cheeks when you think about the person you love, the slow burn of alcohol running down your throat. It’s that loud crash of fireworks, the rasp of fur spiking the wrong way, the feeling of skin rubbed raw against cloth. It’s the quick step of a drummer’s double pedal on the bass drum, that guitar lick you heard and can’t quite remember. The sultry sound of a woman’s laugh in your ear, the sticky gooey thrum of a Ferrari’s engine. It’s abrasive and brash and altogether too much, but sometimes it’s the essence of life itself.
If jazz seems alien, it’s because there’s a lot of things happening at once, following rules that you’re not used to. It makes a lot more sense once you know what to listen for, so I’m gonna break down what makes it tick.
This is So What, the first track off of the album Kind of Blue, which is the top selling jazz album of all time. Kind of Blue has probably converted more people to jazz than any other single album and is the closest thing jazz has to a breakout hit. It’s a beautiful album and a great place to start.