As I've mentioned in one of my previous posts, I've been getting back "into" Jazz. Not that I was every supremely disenchanted with it, it's just I think I kind of painted myself into a corner. Let me explain:
As a student of creative music, I think we all spend a significant part of 'early' learning in building up some kind of aesthetic template. We then use this template to create, to define our musical identity and (often) to listen to music. It is a two-way cycle: all of these acts help us create, reinforce, morph and develop our template. So, as somebody who has always been concerned with having a strong 'musical-template', I think I had maybe gone too far in one direction. Don't think for a second I regret it though, this is 'extreme' behavior is actually quite consistent with my person as a whole, and I think was a necessary product of working hard on 'my own sound'.
So, there are things I know I like to have in my own music. They are my music aesthetic, my musical identity.
The trouble for me had become, though, that I ended up not really liking any music that didn't have at least (or maybe even all) of these things. Needless to say, it made me not want to listen to very much music, and even made me not enjoy certain playing situations which were actually quite good (see previous post).
But now, friends, now it's all changed. Lately I've actually found myself to be able to listen to alot of music, not of all of which check off my criteria for 'good' music, and just pick out things which I like. These things may not be influences in a direct sense, but definitely broaden and strengthen what I already have.
What I think this truly says (if I may be so bold) is that I am getting to a stage where I am comfortable enough in my own beliefs that now I'm not worried about being 'corrupted' by listening to music that isn't very close to my own ideal music. Either that or I've realised it doesn't matter anywhere near as much as I thought!
So anyway, while before all I was really listening to was Elliott Carter, mid 60's Coltrane, Herbie Nichols, Karakudi R Mani and Bach, no I've also been getting into (or back into) Horace Silver, Keith Jarrett, Lennie Tristano, 50's Miles, Weather Report, Brain Wilson, The Roots, Dave Holland, D'Angelo, and Paul Bley.
Some of these guys I re-discovered, while others I either discovered for the first time, or have been drawn into them much more recently, without worrying about becoming a 'clone'.
Long live stregnth in yourself and the thirst for more knowledge!