So I was at this jazz club the other night. And they were playing a jazz rendition of Habanera from the Opera Carmen. The bass holding down the gravity, the piano playfully tinkling, the trumpet ripping, the saxophone crying its sex appeal… rendered the perfect image of Carmen dancing through all of us like a graceful yet spicy fire butterfly. It was amazing!
I’ve always been an admirer of jazz. Of course, jazz tends to have all the instruments that I am fond of, but my favorite part about jazz — is the improvisation. Each instrument has its own unframed time to improvise the tunes, and others patiently support the tune with amazing ears. “Playing by ear” is undoubtedly a jazz term, because every performance is a jam session in jazz. They take turns, but they don’t know whose turn it is next. It’s live music at its finest.
As I was listening to some quality jazz, I began to follow the trace of improvisation back to something so much more jazzy in life. Relationships. It’s like taking turns — to speak, to dream, to sex — and life never goes as planned especially with another person’s life intertwined with yours. If jazz has an improvisational rival, it would be relationships. But there’s so much relationships could learn from jazz. Just look at how the bass is supporting the trumpet’s solo. Trumpet shines, but without bass, it would just be a constant high irritating the ears. But then the bass comes forward. The plucking of the strings produce the most intensely satisfying cave-like tunes, while the piano adds light to the gravity of it. This is all there is to a relationship. The acknowledgment that I will be your bass, and you be my trumpet. And the next solo piece will be mine, and you’ll be my piano. The blind trust—even faith— that each and every single instrument will be there for one another, is jazz.
And god knows we could use more jazz in relationships.
So the next time you are on a date, take them to a jazz bar. And listen to the relationship portrayed on stage.