Jazz and Life


I’ve enjoyed a wide variety of music styles in my short life span, from professional symphonies, to string quartets, to musicals and jazz ensembles. From Incubus mosh pits to Brad Paisley stadium shows. Every style is so unique and different, and makes my heart happy. Really happy.

Last night Aaron and I had the opportunity to attend “Jazz Fusion” at the performing arts center here in town (kid-free, thanks Mom and Dad!). World renowned musicians and one opera singer graced us with one of the most amazing jazz performances I’ve seen. The amazing part… all the pieces were either written by the musicians, or by their friends or relatives. And more amazing… they tied in a bit of improvisation and DJ mixes off a laptop, fusing street sounds and unique music with their own original works.

As I sat there, I couldn’t help but compare this to the way life works. Life isn’t a perfect symphony, as much as we’d love to think it SHOULD be exactly that.

Nope. Life is an awkward jazz fusion ensemble.

At times, we just have no idea what’s going on. The upright bass is just trying to hold it all together while the sax takes off on its risk-taking riffs. Then the flight-of-the-bumblebee-playing and sliding violin and electric guitar get in the way and totally blow up every chance the ensemble had at resolve.

At times, everyone is playing completely different notes, and heading in different directions. Then it all comes together, for a very brief measure, only to erupt again and confuse our brains’ need for a little peace in the moment.

But somehow, in the disarray, there is beauty. We work off each other, giving each other a solo here and there. Some of us just hold it together with a little bass action while others flit and fly in awkwardly high registers.

Some of us play the sweet, sweet sound of the violin, while others just ruffle everyone’s feathers trying to DJ their way into the Jazz piece (which really, is more beautiful and real than I expected).

To believe life on earth should be an orchestral masterpiece is really cheating ourselves of living in the moment. Right here where we are, THAT’S where the jazz ensemble plays. We can’t make anything perfect. In fact, as I’ve said before, there’s beauty in the imperfection. All we can do is join the chaos, take risks, be ourselves, and accept that it may not always have the perfection of a classical masterpiece.

The full and perfect orchestral symphony will follow, I promise. There will be resolve.

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