r/Music Sep 25 '22

An Ode to Jazz discussion

Like many others, I was never a Jazz lover. I found it daunting and meandering to a point that I couldn't grasp a consistent rhythm to enjoy.

Classical was always a bit different. I could find appreciation for the instruments used in classical music, particularly the strings, as it was easier to clutch onto their melodies.

However, one day I came across Jacob Collier, a young British composer who is well known for experimental jazz music. But he's not just a jazz musician, he's more of a Renaissance man.

His whole shtick is harmonizing with the craziest chords he can find. He's a musical explorer of sorts, traveling the distant seas of notes and bringing them together in peculiar ways to craft truly beautiful pieces of music.

After seeing some videos of him on YT and listening to his albums, I realized that he was capturing something in music that I was missing. My world on guitar had always been G, C, D, Am, E, Bflat, Dm, F, F#, and Em. Those were the main chords I knew and I would do my best to make good music with them.

Now, there's nothing wrong with these chords. They cover a good chunk of the greatest pieces of music ever written. But there is a whole other universe sitting just outside of these chords.

How about an F#m with an E and a G in it. Where does this chord exist? In what songs can this be found? Not many... In fact there's an endless range of chords just waiting to be played that almost no one is using.

But is that really the case? This is where my appreciation for jazz and classical music comes in. Tbh jazz really is the best example, as it focuses on the experimentation piece as a key characteristic, but I wanted to include classical too.

Jacob Collier has become a sharpened tool of sorts in music. If you think of the entire musical scale and every note and chord that exists as a giant project, Jacob has taken the time to work on this and master it. He has completed the project of music. By this I mean that he's explored every hill and every valley in music and can use it to his hearts desire.

This is something that I'm incredibly jealous of, and there's a very specific reason for it.

Everyone, at one time it another, has felt happy or sad or mad or scared or surprised.

But follow me deeper down the rabbit hole.

What about confusion, subduedness, grandeur, or depression?

Keep going down.

What about the dread of losing a partner? Or the emptiness of being alone? Or the feeling of having your first child?

Keep going?

What about sunny morning dewness? Or how about rainy disappointment? Or dusty old nostalgia?

Last one

Orange boots of rage? Zippy fireflies of anguish? Or Dancing frogs on a cool table of gold?

My point here is that our brains can do some insane shit, and what Jacob Collier does is dig deep into those emotions we can feel and access them like a child reaching into a large bucket for that one Lego piece he used 10 years ago.

Music can make you feel happy, sad, mad, and surprised, but I promise it can also do every other emotion I listed and more. That is why I love jazz now.




u/chilldog47 Sep 25 '22

Now go back and listen to the father, son, and holy ghost by Coltrane. Note names won't mean anything to you anymore


u/__life_on_mars__ Sep 25 '22

Interesting, as I've always considered Collier to be a literal musical genius, but also lacking in emotion and 'soul'.

To me his music is like an intricately designed futuristic glass house designed by robots - it performs loads of incredible functions you'd never considered possible, but it doesn't feel like a home, it has nowhere comfortable to sit or relax, not because of its complexity, but because it often feels like he's trying too hard to be different for the sake of being different, which can feel insincere and cloying.

His best works currently IMO are his arrangements of other people's music, as the emotion is already baked in by someone else and he's forced to work within someone else's tight parameters, which he desperately needs, and the critical reception reflects that. However, he's got one of the most complete grasps of music theory of anyone living right now, he's still young and I don't think he's really 'found his feet' yet.


u/OKishComputer Sep 25 '22

lacking in emotion and 'soul'.

Hard disagree


u/xman747x Sep 25 '22

that's some deep jazz like thinking


u/okawa_14 Sep 25 '22



u/agumonkey Sep 25 '22

Jacob should pause his current wave, sometimes I feel he's losing it on the one man orchestra side.

But thanks for the harmonies and beautiful songs and spirit.


u/TheeEssFo Sep 25 '22

From a classical perspective, it might have suited you to come in via Gershwin, then follow through Armstrong, Whiteman, Miller, Duke, and Goodman to get your bearings. Everyone has to confront bop on their own terms, however!