A New Way of Seeing Jazz

Aesthetic Realism and The Siegel Theory of Opposites offer a new way of understanding the beauty of jazz and all music.


I grew up outside of Philadelphia and have lived in New York for over 20 years. I'm a jazz pianist, singer, arranger, choral conductor and music teacher. I've been teaching full-time for about 18 years. Currently I teach on the junior and senior high school levels, though I've taught from elementary school through college. I also teach privately. Since 1985 I've been studying Aesthetic Realism, first in consultations and now in professional classes taught by Ellen Reiss.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A new novel can make us deeper about people and jazz

One of the new ways of seeing jazz Aesthetic Realism teaches is the seeing of jazz in relation--to other kinds of music, to other arts, to the world itself. I just finished a new Novel by anthropologist Arnold Perey, titled "Gwe: Young Man of New Guinea" and subtitled "A Novel Against Racism." I think it is a beautiful and important book--and it's a real page turner! I couldn't put it down. As each chapter ended, I couldn't wait to read the next and find out what was going to happen to the people in this far away land. What does it have to do with jazz? For one thing, reading the book I felt something primative also had terrrific nuance; life as earthy and as ever so subtle came together. And jazz, at its best, puts together these same opposites. Louis Armstrong, for example, as he plays and sings, has roughness and blare at one with the subtlest inflections. The biggest thing is that reading "Gwe: Young Man of New Guinea" can make a person deeper about other people, and have us see our relation to them more accurately and kindly.