Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Murakami on Getz
(From the music issue of The Believer):

I have lost myself in many novels over the years, and been entranced by many jazz performances. Yet, for me, F. Scott Fitzgerald means "the novel," while Stan Getz is synonymous with "jazz"...

Of all Getz's works, my very favorite is the two-disc set recorded live at the Storyville jazz club in 1951...The rhythm of Al Haig, Jimmy Raney, Teddy Kotick, and Tiny Kahn is perfect: they come across straight and cool, yet their rhythm flows with the smoldering force of subterranean lava. Even so, Getz is far and away the best. Soaring like Pegasus, he sweeps away the clouds to reveal a single, blinding moment the bright panoply of stars. The music crashes against us in vivid waves, transcending time. What explains the power? It is because his melodies mercilessly awaken the pack of starving wolves each of our souls holds within itself. The breath of these beasts sinks wordlessly into the snow, so thick and white and beautiful you feel you could almost cut it with a knife. It is this that Stan Getz's music allows us to comtemplate, the fateful cruelty that lies shrouded in the deep forests of our souls.

Blood Count - Stan Getz


Sean Wraight said...

Hello Amity,

Great to hear the music actually paired with this. Haruki Murakami's assessment of the music of Stan Getz is beautiful and stunningly accurate. Elvis Costello once said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture" but Murakami really nailed it. I really enjoyed his take on the music of Billie Holiday too and how its importance in his life has changed as he gets older. I suspect the longer collection would be nothing short of brilliant.

I look forward to the Music Issue of the Believer every year and this year it is so well done, the accompanying cd perhaps their best yet.


amityb said...

Thanks you so much for the Costello quote Sean! I knew I had heard it before, but forgot who said it. He's totally wrong--some of the most creative and poetic art crit writing comes from doing just that, "dancing about architecture." --but I like the quote nonetheless.

Yeah this year's Believer CD was pretty good. I have to listen to it more though, too many international artists that I wasn't familiar with to digest all at once...lots of juicy stuff to sink your teeth into.