Thursday, April 12, 2007

Old People Are Cool

Gangstarr: Jazz Thing (Movie mix) (CBS, 1990)
Last Friday we went to Derby. That night Silvana's dad took me across the road to the Royal British Legion club to see the jazz band, Jazz Vibrations (great name). He was as excited about it as I was. They only play once a month and I've only seen them once before, but they are wonderful for a number of reasons. For one, there's not a member under 65 - old people in bands are about the coolest thing I can think of because they've got no aspirations other than to play the music they love. They're not trying to be pop stars or famous or blow anyone's minds, they just want to play. For another, the guy on vibes has clearly been playing the instrument for about 50 years and he is now so in tune with it he's hunched over it like it's a part of him. So we stood at the bar and sank very cheap drinks and smiled at each other not caring what the songs were called or what anyone was doing because it was all good. When the frontman guy put down his sax and picked up his clarinet Silvana's dad's smile got even bigger. 36 hours before I'd been in a cool restaurant in New York, but this was so much cooler. Old guys playing their hearts out - respect is due.

Footnote: The Gangstarr track is taken from the original UK CD single release. Spike Lee's sleevenotes - written on July 13, 1990 - give props to "Duke, Coltrane, Monk, Diz, Mingus..." etcetc. But he also makes room for Biz Markie, Queen Latifah and "Hammer". It's easily forgotten that, for a short time only, MC Hammer wasn't the cheesy joke character he became, but a serious hip hop voice. History is a funny beast, no?

5 comments:

Heidi said...

... except when they smell, believe everything that is written in Daily Mail, and elbow you out of the way to bag the best seats on Easyjet. Even when you are 7 months pregnant and carrying a toddler and three bags.

Rob said...

Actually, I like them too. Wrinkly, tenacious little buggers, aren't they?

Silvana said...

?

maria doyle said...

I'm sorry but I cannot agree. Old people....oh dear oh dear

Rob said...

you're a very cruel woman, Maria