If the cadence may be regarded as the cradle of tonality, the ostinato patterns can be considered the playground in which it grew strong and self-confident. - Edward E. Lewinsky
A decade and a lifetime ago, I interviewed Dr. Ed Lewis, then the head of the jazz department at the University of Regina. I was just kinda getting into jazz at that point, I think maybe I'd just bought my first Vandermark 5 album, and I'd been getting down with, like, Medeski, Martin & Wood and, I don't know, that's probably it. Wait, Roland Kirk. The Inflated Tear. That was happening.
These were not, are not, necessarily the best entry points into jazz, but there they were. And this would have been, really, probably the fall of 2001, really the height of my arrogance as a music writer. I mean, I was headed for a big crash, but I didn't know it. Things were still pretty hot back then for music writers, jobs would find me. There were a few mags I could whip off an email to, say "Hey, buddy, this is what I'm writing today, you want some?" And I'd get these fantastic cheques in the mail for US dollars, and this is back when that mean something. I mean you take a cheque for US$100 into the bank (this was back when you still took cheques to the bank) and they'd give you back $135 in Canadian money. Back then, you could rent a one-bedroom apartment downtown for like $250 in Regina so, the idea that a guy could make a living writing about music was not so fantastical.