Culture, My Life, Nostalgia




I listened to the Early Jazz Station on Pandora last night. It brought up lots of good feels and memories.

When I was in high school, particularly in my freshman year, I was obsessed with jazz music. I was the drummer in my school’s jazz band, and for some odd reason that compelled me to really start exploring jazz. I really liked (and still do) what is considered to be ‘early jazz’ (for all the good labels concerning jazz do). Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, et. al. I love the feel of those old, crackly recordings.

I enjoy newer jazz to an extent, but there’s something about the aforementioned time period (and earlier) that makes me come alive. There’s some part of me that connects with Duke Ellington’s East St. Louis Toodle-oo in a way that I can’t quite describe.

I used to fall asleep every night to Night Jazz which was a radio program on the local college station where I grew up. I’d listen to it on my old alarm clock radio that only got a decent signal on select stations. Some nights I wouldn’t fall asleep and I listened to every note until the program signed off and NPR took over in the wee small hours. I was sad when it went off the air.

I thought about Night Jazz as I listened to Pandora. There hasn’t been anything quite like it. The show had a certain je ne sais quoi that isn’t present in similar programs.

The host had a deep, soothing voice. It felt laid back, but it was super educational. There was a mix of older and newer music. There were songs that were played regularity which built familiarity, but there were plenty of songs that weren’t played all the time.

Listening to Night Jazz is probably my happy place.

It’s funny how sights and sounds can take you back.

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