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Jazz Is Beautiful


” Jazz is beautiful” Barry Harris told a 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival crowd after his trio finished playing to a genuinely appreciative audience. Later Barry joined a stage full of multigenerational  Detroit jazz musicians in a homecoming concert. These are always  special moments. The Detroit Jazz Festival brings out the best from the best. What came out that night were simple truths.

There is a purity in all music that comes from life’s  natural rhythms and sounds. Add the musician’s common experiences, shared freedom, mutual respect and hard learned skills and we have another magical Labor Day weekend in Detroit. Detroit musicians have a  respect for honest effort.. The music is seldom contrived. .

After the Jazz Festival I ran into Marion Hayden who talked about playing that gig with Barry Harris, Jimmy Wilkins, James Carter.etc. She glowed, as Marion is apt to do, while we talked about her mentors and band mates.

Last week I photographed Marion and her bass. We were in a good room with good sound and when she played, her bass spoke in a clear honest voice. It was a beautiful experience.

Detroit jazz is straight, honest, sans frills, and beautiful.

Trust between musicians is essential to jazz. Trust sure helps in taking a photo. Thanks Marion.

John Osler

Marion upbeat

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