"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there’s something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It’s the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part...." -Nick Hornby, Songbook
I feel the need to confess that jazz is still something of an acquired taste with me. Maybe it's the snob association of jazz music with "high art" that intimidates the working-class girl in me. I can only say I am trying. This means I'm leaving myself open to recommendations, as well as a willingness to admit when a song eludes me.
By some twist of fate, I found a live-stream of one of the songs on Patricia Barber's album, Mythologies. The theme of the album intrigued me: each song on Mythologies focuses on a mythological character in Ovid’s Metamorphoses - among them, Morpheus, Pygmalion, Orpheus, Persephone and Narcissus. A blend of mythology and music. So very interesting.
"Imagine if you'd never heard jazz before.... you stumbled in after work for a drink.... you might think that jazz is an Ancient Greek music." ~ Patricia Barber
Granted, I am still not an expert on jazz music, but I really enjoyed listening to "Persephone". I've included a Youtube video of a performance below. Enjoy.
“Persephone” is fun, fun, fun – she’s such a wonderful character. There wasn’t quite enough in Ovid about her. She’s in Book Five – abducted by Hades and taken to the underworld and then in Book Ten as one of the judges of Orpheus’s plea. So I went back to Homer, the origin of the written story of Persephone, and I read Dante because I was curious about Hell. I seized poetic license and created a story in which Persephone ends up liking her power down there. She is the only god who can traverse the upper- and underworlds. She becomes Virgil leading an angel through hell, trying to corrupt her as she is showing signs of weakness. She will use anything at her disposal to get what she wants. It’s a song of seduction. ~ Patricia Barber