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Last week I was fortunate to go to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at the Wichita Orpheum. The first thing I noticed that I had not heard at a concert in a long time is how the band was not blowing out speakers, pumping the bass into my chest or mic’ing up the drums like they were going out of style. The sound was not overdone but rather acoustic. Don’t get me wrong…..I’ve played in bands where we blow out the house with our music, but this was a nice reminder that loud music does not equal quality music.

The second thing I noticed about the group was one thing that in my opinion really sets jazz apart from most other forms of music.  That is the communication that takes place between the musicians on stage. Ultimately, in my opinion, the purpose of music is to communicate and share space. This is most certainly found in live jazz performance;sometimes to the extent that the audience can almost be a bystander watching a conversation from the outside.

This all brings me to a call to action. We do have great live jazz in Wichita, but do we have a point of reference? I say LISTENING!! Listening to jazz records. It will not only put music into perspective but it will also put life into perspective. Afterall perspective is everything. So my hope is that maybe you will take some time to think about your perspective on music and then at least give jazz a shot! Sadly, some of my favorite jazz musicians are no longer with us, so I wanted to go ahead a recommend the 2 albums that changed my life:

Kind of Blue by Miles Davis

Undercurrent by Bill Evans & Jim Hall

As always for questions & comments email me at

Happy listening!

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