TANYA HATES JAZZ

When I was a young girl, skipping through the cornfields which ringed my idyllic childhood hamlet, I had nothing but happy thoughts. I had not yet entered the big bad world and my ears had been relatively untroubled by noises beyond the chirping of the corncrake and the odd cat getting munched up by a rogue reaping machine. These noises came, seemingly as random to me, and were the music of my youth. But before you ask me what the skies were like when I was young (and trust me, I am leaving that particular bugbear to a later date – suffice to say that unlike the typical Orb track they did not go on for bloody ever) its Jazz I want to talk about here. The entire canon.

I know now that the sounds of nature are not in their own way musical: in this way they are much like the constant drip drip drip of noodlings which come from Blue Note Recordings. I like the idea of Jazz in theory – in as much as if I appreciate it in theory I do not have to listen to the damn stuff. The core thesis in Jazz, that via improvisation we can reach and touch true emotion is admirable. It just appears that the majority of Jazz musicians seem to be have the same fucking emotion over and over again. Perhaps there is a subtle message in all Jazz that is a secret message from the creator of the universe. It is somewhat disappointing to find out that this message is “Take 5”. I tend to think the real reason is less sinister; with jazz comes jazz cigarettes and as with dub we know what these particular non-proprietary brand of smokes does to creativity.

You would expect, given the number of variables involved, that your average Jazz gig would consist of as many disparate sounds as my childhood soundscape. The possibility that even the smallest of Jazz bands could crank out anything which could be described as a tune would bear some relationship to the old infinite monkeys, infinite typewriter equals Hamlet scenario. Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The word dangerous is often attached to these fits of improvised creativity. The only dangerous thing about it is that it may drive me into further paroxysms of rage and I get up on stage and wrap their trombones around their heads. Or stick their cornets up their arse – it works as a half decent muffler.

To condemn the entirety of Jazz in one foul swoop may seem the height of arrogance and ignorance, for which I am truly unrepentant. Oh, I agree Louis Armstrong probably deserves a separate slagging, and I am not sure if this small picture of ire can really contain the horror that is Acid Jazz. But rest assured, now when I revisit the haunts of my youth – it is not the squeal of a cat getting accidentally munched in the jaws of a combined harvester I hear. It is the sound of Jazz – forevermore doodling its emotionally vapid minuets in hell.

I Hate Music