"There's nothing good out there anymore." Yeah, you hear that being said all the time. I've never agreed with it. My first reaction to the statement (and this might be the music snob/nerd in me talking) is that the person has just "given up." A related and slightly different idea is that there can't be anything knew, that everything has been done. I'll get back to that in a minute.
Because I've been so busy recently, the reading material has been piling up. I've had one particular issue of The New Yorker open to the same page for two weeks. You'd think I could make it through a two-page music review, but a sentence a day doesn't make for much progress. The review was of saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Apparently, not even Gary Giddens' fine writing could hold my attention in these crazy times. Saxophone. From Denver. Berklee. Discovered Indian music by accident. Astounding music….etc. Right, I'll get to it at some point.
So a couple of nights ago I'm driving home with the radio on (because futzing with the iPod connector thingie in the Jeep in the dark is both a pain in the neck and downright dangerous) and Terry Gross' Fresh Air comes on. Rudresh Mahanthappa? Hey, I know that name! Sort of. I love the interview. I generally enjoy her interviews, but I especially love them when she's speaking with musicians who are so open and honest about what they do. Yessir, I can listen to that stuff all day long. Very early in the show, they take a break to play Mahanthappa's song "Apti."
I almost had to pull over to the side of the road. The hair stood up on the back of my neck and arms. My eyes began to water a little. Yow!
In the Giddens' piece , he says that there are no more musical truths, at least as far as the world of jazz is concerned. I must respectfully disagree. Yes, I have heard Southern Indian Carnatic music. And yes, I have heard jazz. But I've never heard them smooshed together in this way. The breathtaking unison sax/guitar runs, somehow further driven by the tablas, were careening around the inside of TheWife™'s Jeep. Careening around inside my head too.
I broke out in a sweat. Seriously.
I found out yesterday that the CD isn't currently available. I didn't let that stop me. Drastic measures were necessary. Yes, that means that I had to make a purchase of digital media over the Internet. It would be my second time, and the process at Amazon went relatively smoothly. I've said this before but I find the whole experience very strange and, I dunno, bloodless? Yes, I have these mp3's that I can listen too, but it still doesn't feel like I've actually purchased anything. This is the future? Oh, the future is now, you say? Hmmm. By the way Amazon people, I forgot to tell you that my credit union reissued our card with a new number a while ago during one of their very thoughtful security procedures. Maybe you should have checked on that before allowing me to download the music? That email you sent to be this morning stating that my purchase had been canceled? It made me snort and laugh out loud.
In any event, the music is freaking gorgeous and it still gives me chills after several listens. It's another data point that supports my belief that if you think there's nothing new or good out there, well…you've just given up.