SKF NOTE: I write a weekly column in Maine for the Piscataquis Observer newspaper. Sometimes my columns are about music. Like this week’s column.
A lot of music fans are stuck in the ‘60s
Scott K. Fish, Special to the Piscataquis Observer • April 2, 2018
“I’m stuck in the ‘60s,” Eileen said, explaining her choice of music on her iPod and car radio. Lots of Beach Boys, Four Seasons, Motown, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and so on. Now and then — almost as if the iPod is weary of hearing the same tunes — the song rotation plays Tony Joe White’s “Polk Salad Annie,” Arthur Conley’s “Sweet Soul Music,” or Jimmy Soul’s “If You Wanna Be Happy” — some wonderful ‘60s songs that, to my ears, never grow stale.
There’s no telling on any given day what’s on my personal MP3 player. Those of you reading my column recently won’t be surprised when I tell you my MP3 player includes several podcast episodes. Music? It depends on my mood. But chances are excellent I’m listening to one or more jazz albums, usually a Miles Davis album. Recently, I’m discovering vibist Cal Tjader’s albums with percussionists Willie Bobo and Mongo Santamaria.
Jazz as a music genre is tough to define. One reason is the way jazz has changed and continues changing over time, always a reflection of the times, with a small number of visionary musicians leading the musical stylistic changes. So Louis Armstrong was a jazz pioneer starting in the 1920s with both his trumpet playing and singing. Thirty years later trumpet player Miles Davis began emerging as a different sounding visionary.