All of us on this big blue marble have something they don’t like about themselves. Some people don’t like the fact that they are shy. Others don’t like the way they look. And still others hate every little thing about themselves and wish they could just trash it all and start over.
And while there is plenty I don’t like about myself (my impatience, the size of my head) I really don’t like that I enjoy smooth jazz. In fact, I really think it would benefit me if I didn’t like smooth jazz so much. Cause I like it – A LOT.
Listening to smooth jazz makes me feel good. It relaxes me. It balances me out. Many people call smooth jazz “soft” or “boring” or “coma-inducing” or “music to kill yourself to.” They can’t handle the smoothness of it. But the smoothness of smooth jazz is what makes it so special. It’s auditory Valium.
I listen to smooth jazz everywhere; in the car, at dinner, hell, I can even jog to smooth jazz. As I am writing this piece I am listening to — and enjoying immensely — the Boney James channel on my Pandora station. “Who the hell is Boney James,” you may be asking? Trust me – you don’t want to know. It’s better that you don’t.
I don’t have anyone in my life that enjoys smooth jazz. My family is indifferent to it. My friends mock me for it. My wife hates it so much that it is a miracle that she hasn’t divorced me because I own not one but two Dave Koz albums. (One is a Christmas album called, “A Smooth Jazz Christmas.” I know.) So, much like masturbation, listening to smooth jazz is a solo effort that I have to do all by my lonesome, which can be a little… well… sad.
I don’t want to like smooth jazz and at the same time I don’t not want to like it and that egregious error in grammar should show you how conflicted I am over this. A part of me gets that smooth jazz is lame. The other part of me doesn’t give a flying f*#k. It’s a constant (and probably unnecessary) struggle and I’m not sure if anyone else feels this conflicted about their own favorite type of music. Fans of Phish don’t struggle with their love for that band and, let me tell you, they should. That music blows. But fans of Phish, AKA Phans (Come on! Really?!), don’t sweat it. They just go on their merry way, dancing in a giant circle of love and completely oblivious to their crappy taste in music.
It’s hard to enjoy something when everyone around you tells you not to. I try to stand strong in my smooth jazz beliefs but sometimes it is so exhausting that I have to lie down and listen to “The Best Of Al Jarreau,”* just to make it through the day. Fighting this constant fight not only with myself but with others as well is taxing but I continue to do it because I am stupid and I don’t know any better.
(*I also own “The Very Best of Al Jarreau.”)
Because I am vocal about my smooth jazz addiction (I am told that admitting to an addiction is the first step in curing said addiction but it sure as s*#t hasn’t worked for me yet) I get asked a lot, “So, do you like Kenny G?” Come on. Give me just a little bit of credit. I do not like Kenny G.
(I love Kenny G.)
I’m not that mental.
There are some limits to my smooth jazz love.
(I celebrate the man’s entire catalogue.)
As much as I like smooth jazz, I am not a Kenny G fan.
(More like fanatic.)
I don’t even really listen to his music.
(I saw him in concert once. He was magical.)
Help me… please… help me.