Jazzin' : Capturing a Sensation
"I expected an atmosphere that was dark, smokey and buzzing with the smell of coffee, pastries, and liquor. Instead we walked into a room that felt more like a middle school student's recital. Red Flag."
Amid the wind down of a global pandemic I received an invite to go see a live jazz band perform in an underground venue. It was going to be their first performance and they had an album they were looking to adorn ears with. After a year and a half of being cooped up in the house, this seemed like the perfect social gathering to ease back into "going out".
I dressed in my finest outfit, taking care to look cute but odd, in an artistic way. I took my sister with me and we arrived with all the regal air you'd expect from two sauced, spiced, and primped black women. With expectations higher than our chin, we swayed into the venue and were quickly deflated. I expected an atmosphere that was dark, smokey and buzzing with the smell of coffee, pastries, and liquor. Instead we walked into a room that felt more like a middle school student's recital. Red Flag.
This scene did not make me feel confident in the music we paid to sponge in. The band was scattered about, socializing, but eventually made their way to the stage. The lights dimmed a bit to center the audience's attention and the music began. The first song was not good. The musicians played with the spirit of nervousness and you could tell. Red Flag.
I was starting to feel like this was going to be a waste of money and time. The melanin deficiency on the stage didn't give me much hope for the songs to come but I listened on, hopeful. The second song started out the same; an awkward melody and cadency shaded by nerves. Half way through the second song though something wonderous happened. Someone's shoulders dropped from their ears. Someone's leg loosened out. Necks unstiffened. Feet tapped naturally. Suddenly the recital changed into a performance. From the third song through the rest of their performance, magic was filling the air.
Inspired by the power and passion permeating, I pulled out my tablet, opened procreate, and let the music guide me. I had been recently studying the power of line art and it was still on my mind. I took a moment to take in the motions of the musicians, being mindful of their outlines and the positions they keep settling back into as they played. I looked at how some of the musician's appearances stood out more than their instruments as well. I wanted to remember this moment and capture the sensation I was feeling from them. After a moment of continued awe I was able to capture it. Energy and intricate melodies flowed through the space like electricity and I was lucky enough to be able to capture it in this abstract piece. The band gave themselves over to the music. They were Jazzin'.