The Age of Jazz

Jazz is more meaningful to me now than I would have ever imagined it could be. I played in a jazz ensemble in high school. Still, I think jazz requires a certain maturity. That maturity need not be connected to chronological age but, in my case, age seems to be seasoning me.

My high school jazz ensemble years were salt and pepper years. Basic, fundamental seasoning to life. Now that as my hair has turned salt and pepper…mostly salt…the exposure through life and living to an ever growing rack of spices and herbs has molded a palate capable of appreciating more and more subtle variations.

Subtleties seem to be disappearing everywhere I look. It’s making me more and more hungry for attention to detail by artists in the kitchen, in the winery, in the distillery, in the recording studio, in books, articles, blogs and debate. An appreciation of that surprising little turn of flavor, that complex, evolving nose of a nice red wine, the movement of warmth and smoke over the regions of the tongue from a finely aged single malt. A flash of admiration, even jealousy, when reading a turn of phrase that paints as richly as a palette of the finest oils in the hand of van Gogh.

What have I missed in the last 50 years?

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