Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Apocalypse is Nigh

I am known at work for (among other things) having a esoteric taste in music. Sharing an office with four other people in close proximity, I carve out my own little niche in the maelstrom by playing music as much as possible. So when a colleague whose musical interests extend as far as Coldplay came in, handed me a list and asked "Do you have any of these CD's?" I was taken aback, to say the least. The discs in question were:
  • John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
  • Thelonious Monk - Monk's Music
  • Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity
  • Peter Brotzmann - Machine Gun
So being the music nerd I am, I responded, "Yes, I have all of them, they are considered classics." But what I was thinking was: "You're messing with me, right?" In the United States, jazz has a market share of approximately 2% and for the out there stuff like Ayler and Brotzmann it's even less. So for a People Magazine reading, Survivor watching person to ask me about music like this was highly improbable. Apparently she had read the Steve Hamilton novel Night Work and music, especially jazz, plays a big role in the narrative with the protagonist playing tracks from these albums in the course of the plot. This isn't new, many great mystery novels have evoked jazz in the past, but to evoke the freest of the free is a fascinating twist. I'll have to check it out soon.