Once upon a time, jazz was enjoyed by people who wore turtlenecks and sipped black coffee in dimly-lit, smoky clubs.
Now the damn thing is everywhere. You can’t walk five metres without someone saluting the genius of the jazz giants Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Spend an evening in any East End boozer and you’ll see hard men getting into passive-aggressive debates over whether Ornette Coleman’s The Shape Of Jazz To Come is his definitive work. Which it is, apparently. Even the kids love a bit of free jazz. You’ll see them sitting at the back of the bus, gathered around a phone listening to some European free improvisation at a screeching volume.
Now, you may have noticed in recent weeks that we’ve pored over the works of YouTuber Wilton Turdley (not his real name – it’s Andy). We can’t quite tell whether he’s cleverly taking the piss or just wants to listen to his favourite metal songs in a variety of ways. This time, we’ve become a bit obsessed his jazzy version of those Black Sabbath cats’ Paranoid.
Carried by some insistent ride work and gentle chord phrasing, he’s stripped the doom and anguish from their 1970 single and transformed it into something you might hear in an lift or in the background of a fancy department store.
So, make yourself a bitter espresso and surrender to the calming influence of jazz.