Neither time did I write about the actual construct of the music in the same way that I’ve been able to do with bands or groups whose material I am more familiar with.
Which is another way of admitting defeat and saying that I won’t be doing that again today. And it’s not entirely because jazz is difficult to write about – it isn’t, for critics who know their stuff. I won’t claim to be one of those people. I’m just a dude on the internet who likes music (and the internet, for that matter) enough to try to write about it every single day.
I’m also not a classically trained musician, so I couldn’t tell you about… I don’t know, archipelagos? Are those a thing? What I can tell you is that jazz reminds me of the theme music best suited for Oldsmobile and AARP commercials. But I love it in the least ironic and “guilty pleasure” way possible.
However, on the basis of my ineptitude to properly critique jazz, I will write something I feel I am okay at doing: a mostly non-sensical series of words smashed together in an effort to draw a few chuckles.
This time, that means I will write a TV Guide-style summary of hypothetical television shows based on the titles of each of the six tracks of today’s album, Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island. These could also serve as the rough skeleton of show ideas that I’d pitch at the 30 Rock Season 7-era NBC/KableTown as run by Six Sigma-elite Jack Donaghy.
And if Herbie ever reads this, I hope this makes you proud. This is the Internet at its best, sir.
Cantaloupe Island – The father of a daily music blog (“A Single Album Every Day”) finds a new job on Cantaloupe Island, a tropical oasis in the Caribbean. But in order to make ends meet, he must take on a second job at a local farmer’s market, selling his least favorite fruits. Yup, you guessed it: cantaloupe! (starring Mel Gibson; Travel Channel)
Watermelon Man – The spiritual sequel of Cantaloupe Island, Food Network’s Watermelon Man! examines what happens when the competition heats up between the ruthless presidents of two competing farmer’s markets. SPOILER ALERT – SPECIAL TWIST SERIES ENDING: they’re both owned by Monsanto (starring David Alan Grier; Food Network; replaces all Paula Deen content as part of a plea agreement with the NAACP)
Driftin’ – An animated, kid-friendly version of Vin Diesel and The Rock battling (?) each other under the Fast & Furious title, inspired by the Hanna Barbera-classic Wacky Races. The Japanese version replaces Diesel with an anthropomorphized version of a Shiba Inu (whose friend is the animated version of Mens Wear Dog). One episode definitely has to be titled 2 Fast 2 Kawaii. (starring Vin Diesel; ABC Family)
Blind Man, Blind Man – A legally blind man and a totally blind man bumble their way through life – together! Watch as these classic characters, the brothers of those ole’ wenches from CBS’s Two Broke Girls, feel their way along the walls of life’s cruel existence. Set in the Hasidic section of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY, come along with these visually-impaired modern day heroes as they put on their brave faces in search of the city’s best chicken parm. Don’t miss the Harlem special with Bill Clinton. (starring Tony Hale, Rainn Wilson, the ghost of Rodney Dangerfield, Air Bud; TNT)
And What If I Don’t – Roseanne Barr’s unfortunate return to the talk show format. Inaugural guests include: extras from Adam Baldwin’s 2005 classic The Poseidon Adventure, US Senator Frank Underwood, and Andrew WK. (starring Roseanne Barr, whatever is left of the tortured remnants of Tom Arnold’s soul; San Bernandino County Public Access Television)
Maiden Voyage – In an unprecedented event, every NPR program teams with Air America, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report and Huffington Post to pay Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump half a billion dollars each to kiss on air wearing different outfits for 22 minutes every Tuesday night for 4 months. (also ABC Family)
They truly can make a show out of anything. I’m sorry, Herbie.
From Cantaloupe Island, this is the title track –
Standout tracks: “Watermelon Man” and “Cantaloupe Island”
Weakest track: “Driftin’”
RIYL: Jazz, big bands, standards, TV guide. Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea.