Just a few months ago, I saw that a friend of mine in India, had played a character in a short film who was a "Jazz DJ"! When I finally saw the film, the music that I heard - obviously selected by the director or production team - did not sound anything like the "Jazz" that I know - or the music that I think of as "Jazz." So, I decided to make her some selected playlists, Jazz Samplers, so that she could, if she chose to, get a feeling for what that music actually sounds and feels like. As everyone, all over the world, listens to music in their own way - mostly through earbuds or headphones - or some kind of a sound-cube in their home/apartment - and, of course, in one's car - I often forget the latter, because I haven't owned a car since 1969! It's hard for me to relate to these listening styles. I have had to face the fact that fundamentally NO ONE these days owns a real stereo (with a powerful amp (100w per channel) and two(2) speakers - plus a CD player or a turntable, or both. Spotify Jazz Sampler Playlists The contemporary world of music listening seems to have passed me by. I still don't get it.
    So, I decided that, with the help of my close friend, pianist Antonio Mazzei, who now lives in Barcelona, Spain - after having spent many years here in New York - and who IS well-versed in Spotify - we would assemble these Jazz Sampler Playlists, and he would create them for me @ Spotify. I began with just 2 of them. Those first two playlists covered a total of 26 tunes, 13 on each one. Generally speaking, I tried to select music/performances that, for me, represented in some way, shape or form what "Jazz" sounds like to me. Of course, this is all very subjective. My friend in India knew nothing about my own recordings, so I tried to slip one song in here and there. Another person, another musician might have selected a completely different list of tunes and artists. What was I trying to accomplish? Well, I wanted to best represent, if possible, ALL of the various sounds, colors, flavors, textures, moods, attitudes, and vibrations (I'm sounding like an old hippie now) of the music that I have loved so much since I was a teenager.
    As time passed, and Antonio and I had created 15 playlists - some of them came to a total of as much as 2 hours of music. In all, some 254 songs were present - to be accessed and enjoyed. As I watched the total music time grow from playlist to playlist - I began to confront the fact that most people, these days, can barely get through listening to one single piece of music without being interrupted by their damn smartphones, or some other contemporary distraction! [Welcome to Short Attention Span Theater] So, why bother to put so much love and effort into these playlists? I suppose that the best answer that I can come-up with is that, IF the Samplers reached just ONE person who enjoyed, and saw the beauty in them - then it would have been worth it all. That said, I don't expect anyone to listen to any one of these playlists and actually get through them from start to finish! No way!!!
    If you click on the image just above, it will take you to what I would call a COMPOSITE page @ Spotify where you can access any one of the 15 Jazz Sampler Playlists all on one page! Or, you can scroll down here, click on any one of them and access that playlist! It's up to you!
    After much thought, my plan became to present TWO PLAYLISTS PER WEEK @ Facebook, on Tuesdays and Fridays, and then to see what happened, if anything.

    My criteria for most of the selections, no matter how physical or intense the music might be, was that THE MUSIC WOULD BE LISTENABLE - and, at any volume. I tend to listen to music, most of the time, at a level where I can FEEL IT in a PHYSICAL manner. MUSIC IS PHYSICAL to me, and SPIRITUAL in that way - but, it is NOT like that for everyone. So, I felt that IF a person who had any of these playlists could, for example, put on one of them via their streaming device, and just do other things, like working at your computer or iPad - be it, having a gathering for dinner, and using it as some kind of sophisticated "background music" for the evening - Or, they could just be cleaning their home, and the playlist would be on. And, of course, they could be at the gym on the treadmill or some other machine, and just drift away into THIS world of music. Who knows? I would be willing to bet that if multiple people were listening to one of these music collections/samplers together - even if it was only in the background, someone would eventually say, "Hey, what's that tune? Who's the artist?" And therein lies the "magical moment" when someone might make the effort to then, go out and find that artist, that song, that album and then, add to their own collection of music. That would be a great victory right there. So, that was my general hope.
    For most people, listening to instrumental music, non-singing music, music without lyrics is really, really difficult. By and large, people need the "message" in or from the music to be spelled-out for them - beyond a song title, and within the lyrics or the "story" of the song. So, "Jazz" - which is, for the most part, instrumental music - becomes a more challenging listening experience. Does one have to "understand" something about music to enjoy and/or appreciate it? I don't think so! I believe that you just have to let your mind or spirit drift somewhere with the music and the feeling(s) or memories that you attach to it, those things become what the piece is about. In a sense, it is kind of simple - but some degree of an imagination is important. Just a thought.

    Now, why don't I belong to Spotify? Well, for me and most artists, musicians, composers, publishers, and yes, record companies too - not one of us feels that we are being properly compensated for the usage and performances of our music and/or recordings as people happily, without a care in the world, stream away for some kind of a monthly fee - and we, as artists, are getting paid in, as we like to sarcastically call it, DIGITAL PENNIES. But it is NOT a joke! So, what do we do? On the plus side, that people have access to our music, and they can choose to hear it - that is a gift. At least, perhaps, it is not as bad as file sharing - where NOTHING goes to the artists, etc. It would seem that we all have to accept a part of this and hope that we're reaching someone out there - every so often. But still, there is something not quite right about this system. I repeat, what do we do? What can we do? I have no answers for that - it is far too complex for a humble artist, a small artist, like me to come-up with a global solution that would benefit everyone, and be acceptable to all. I guess this will all be solved eventually, but long after I have passed into another realm/plane of alternate realities. If such a thing exists. Once again, an old hippie talking!

    For those of you who are trying to find a pathway into this genre of music that many of us have dedicated our lives to - maybe these playlists will serve you in that way? That was a huge part of my hope too.

    Playlists #8-#10 were comprised of only BALLADS. I just tried to select some of the most beautiful songs and performances that came to mind, in hopes that, for some listeners, this might be the best and most listenable program to get them to broaden their own musical horizons. There are of course BALLADS included in each playlist anyway - but usually not more than 2 or 3 of them.

    The comical irony of all of this is that my friend in India, Shahana Goswami has not listened to any of the playlists that I shared with her! It's pretty comical. And on that note, PLEASE SCROLL DOWN and enjoy these wonderful collections of music with my best wishes for a peaceful and tranquil summer!!! BIG LOVE, Steve