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1. Say "syncopation" a lot. If someone asks you what that is, mumble something about "downbeats."

You can really hear the syncopation in these downbeats.

 

2. Refer to people like Miles, Duke, and Louis using only their first names. (Bonus points for tossing around nicknames like Bird, Diz or Boogaloo Joe.) In fact, there've been so many jazz musicians, you can probably just say a random first name and odds are it'll be the name of a jazz great. Even if it isn't, everyone will be too afraid of seeming ignorant to ask who you're talking about.

My favorite artist? I'd have to say...John. Yes, exactly. Coltrane. Obviously that is who I meant.

 

3. As soon as the music starts, close your eyes and bob your head around a whole bunch, like you're connecting with the music in a way to deep to express with words. (It doesn't matter if your head-bobbing matches the beat of the music. In fact, it's better if it doesn't, because then it's like you're bobbing to a much more subtle, less audible part of the music.)

What? Sorry, pal, couldn't hear you. I was feeling it too hard.

 

4. Frequently reference live shows you've seen, even if you technically weren't alive when they happened. No one will do the math.

Y'know, I saw the Hilltop Tooter play back in '68 at a smoky little bar on the West side and no one even knew who he was. he just walked on stage, picked up his clarinet - didn't even stop smoking - and just started playing. The room went SILENT. Next thing you know, the set was over and he was fucking every woman in the building under 50. Legend, that fella.

 

5. Make sure to throw one jazz song on your party mix so when it comes on someone will have to ask you what it is. Be like "Hm? Oh, this?" then launch into your cool-ass prepared spiel.

Hm? Oh, this? Just a rare B-side Miles laid down with Boogaloo Joe down at Ziggy's in '64. I'm surprised you didn't recognize it.

 

6. It's important to master your jazz vocabulary. if someone asks you what you think of a recording, select any three of these phrases and arrange them in some order in a sentence:

blue

restless

cool

hot

boogie woogie

chops

plops

flips

hot licks

hep hep

daddy-o

funky

frinky

stanki-doo

spiggly wigglers

zoot zoot bibbity

Dixieland

Daddy-o, I know this axe man's got the chops, because my lugholes are stanki-DOO!

 

7. Bone up on your jazz history. Jazz history is pretty long and complicated, but the most important thing to remember is to announce loudly and often that jazz is the only truly American form of music.

You know, jazz is the only truly American form of music. Frinky, huh?

 

8. Force yourself to laugh at the slightest shred of whimsy, even if it's something you'd never find the least bit amusing outside of jazz. Make sure everyone thinks you're honestly deriving pleasure from listening to jazz, instead of just waiting for the moment you can go back to listening to real music with a single melody that your ears can actually differentiate.

THE BASSIST PLAYED PART OF THE FLINTSTONES THEME FOR 6 SECONDS! Did you catch that? Amazing.

 

9. Rip on FAKE-ASS jazz bands like The Manhattan Transfer for being "overrated." Also choose a band you think is underrated. (It can be a made-up band.)

Those white-o's in The Manhattan Transfer can't jam for shit. Yeah, I'm white too -- so?

 

10. Listen to other people who know a lot about jazz and try to actually learn something. (Note: only for the truly desperate.)

 

Special thanks to Dan Hopper for xtra jazzy jokes.