Sunday, October 16, 2011

Epiphany at Twist and Shout

It does not take long. When I walk into a store that is play jazz on the sound system, I immediately listen intently. Before long, I can usually ascertain which artist is playing. Today, after walking into Twist and Shout (the best store in Denver for jazz CDs and albums), I heard a small combo with an insistent saxophone taking the lead. After a few minutes, I realized it was the legendary Miles Davis Quintet live in a newly released recording. Miles is joined by Tony Williams on drums (then about 20), Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Ron Carter on bass, and Herbie Hancock on piano. This is the free-bop, pre-electric Miles, with lyricism, telepathic coordination, and an open sky in which most anything could happen.

I marveled at the timing, and at the quality of the old JBL speakers (similar to one's I had in high school) bringing this sublime music to me there and then. You never know what you may hear at Twist and Shout. I have cringed at rap, been hammered by heavy metal, and generally sickened by other defective forms of music. But today, it was pure stereophonic magic.

I stopped, looked into the old, open-faced speakers--and thanked God for the beauty.

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