Greetings from the subterranean sound stronghold that is the Sibin. The air may be finally getting a chill to it, but in The Public Records the temperature is always set to cool. And speaking of cool, we have decided to make this November all about jazz. There is just something about rainy nights, blustery days, and colorful leaves on the asphalt that seem to complement this genre so well.

To celebrate the season, we have just updated our jazz shelf with many new names from all over the chronology and geography of this family of music. We’ll also have a new mix of great tunes coming at you online, so keep your eyes on the website and your ears open for some fabulous new tracks.

What exactly is it that makes jazz jazz? Simply put, it’s what one gets when peoples meet and mix. The melting pot that is America spawned this unique and original music when folk and art music met and fell in love. The folk music of west Africa mutated after its many years in America and in turn spawned blues and ragtime. These then interacted with the folk music traditions of Europeans and also their more rigid structures of military marches and classical pieces to evolve into a musical form that combined styles, structures, and time signatures from around the globe.

After the initial birth of the style around the turn of the 20th century in New Orleans, jazz itself began to branch out across the United States. Each region of the country developed its own version of the genre and what one would hear in Kansas City would be very different than what was being played in New York which would be different to what was developing in San Francisco.

With the invention of radio and television, jazz was able to take over the world. From bossa nova in Brazil, the meticulous big bands of Japan, or the super funky scene of Yugoslavia, every culture that encountered the music put its own little spin on it. Despite being called ‘America’s classical music’, what made jazz jazz was the exact opposite of what actually made classical music – all the rules.

The rules of jazz are the apparent lack thereof – one can easily travel from the very precise and tight likes of Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman to the super loose and heady Moondog or funky bumpings of Grover Washington, Jr – the map is endless; however, that whole you-know-it-when-you-see-it pornograhpy stipulation is probably the only one that actually applies to this genre. So despite who may be crooning, tooting, or thumping away at whatever rhythm they choose; when you hear it, you’ll have that a-ha moment and know it’s jazz. That little element that you can’t put your thumb on, but man does it jive!

So get your ears ready for an audial experience and be sure to take full advantage of our magnificent gin collection* as you peruse the jazz shelf and That Awesome Drummer Frank Reeser’s Collection for some brand new tunes to sophisticate your life.

* Fun Fact: Did you know that martinis make jazz go down even easier? It’s true.