I just watched the John Coltrane Documentary on Netflix...Chasing Trane. 

I certainly will watch a second time. You saw the movie some time last year and you had recommended that I watch it as soon as I could.

I'm not sure if I ever told you the story on how I got to listening to Miles and Coltrane and to Jazz in particular.

I was in first or second year university at UofT...working at a Second Cup Coffee Shop in Yorkville, and there was a music store a few doors east of the cafe...Atelier Gregorian. Well the son would always come in for a coffee and as we got to know each other he would give me the sample/free hip hop CD's that his distributors would drop when they did the deliveries. Atelier was a classical/world music/non-urban music store. Nonetheless the son would give me the cd's, none of which I liked, as at that time I was turned off of hip hop. This was the time of P-Diddy, and the Booty Shaking, Gold Grabbing, Club Rap sound. Which is fine, but I was raised on KRS-1, Slick-Rick, Wu-Tang, Nas you know...


I asked him, Peter, the son at this family run shop, "I would like to get into Jazz, where can I start?". You know at the time Second Cup and all of Bloor-Annex would play the easy happy stuff, Ella and Duke at Christmas, Billy Holiday ballads and the like but at that time that sound didn't jive with seemed too happy...too easy, it was sold to me as the only 'sound of Jazz'. So he said come by the shop, "I will have you buy two albums (CD's)..." 1. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue and 2. John Coltrane - Blue Train. 

I took them home and listened to both albums, at my age of 21 and for the first time listening to the complex harmonies that jazz could be the Coltrane album was too intense, but the coolness and direct nature of the Kind of Blue - Davis album caught my attention. I continued to delve into Miles and his early works with Prestige to Blue Note and then to Columbia and everything in between. I wouldn't say I was exhaustive in my pursuit of listening and collecting Miles's music. I don't have an addictive tendency...but I did seek his music out, a lot of it and played it often and very loud. It was great during my time as a young adult post-university and being a 'young man' in the city. Then one day I replayed the Coltrane Blue Train album. I think I had only purchased one other album, a Duke Ellington/Coltrane collaboration, mainly for the track 'In a Sentimental Mood', perfect for a graduate of French Literature in his early 20's. But re-listening to Blue Train as I was slightly more tuned into Jazz was transcendental and changing. I heard his musical voice, I felt and could see the layers. I didn't completely understand everything, you had to pay attention and then you had to let yourself 'feel' the music. Like listening to Theo Parrish, or MoodyMann at an after hours. House music was easier for me, because you could dance and feel it, dance to interpret and move. Jazz and Coltrane you had to sit and listen or rather be open in mind and spirit. So just as I was watching this documentary and looking at all the albums I have, vinyl and on CD, his music has helped me along the way as I've navigated this world as an adult. Recently I've come back to his music, I've used it in my staff wine trainings at the restaurant, his and Alice's music, to highlight tones and textures of wine. 

I've often thought how we or rather 'THEY' associate wine and jazz together, when the origins of Jazz and those who consume and collect and connoisseur about wine are so far and distant from the struggle and original source of the music. But then when you study John's later work and his look to the east and a universal appreciation of life through music, and as I've been studying the origins of wine from the 'Middle East' to the west - his music helps make sense of what I am doing...studying wine and the people behind the wine, the origins, the language, the culture and how we use it in the day to day to 'be happy' or 'celebrate a moment' or simply to meditate. I talk to and share, fleeting but, intimate moments with guests/strangers 5 nights a week, pouring and talking about wine...why?

It astounds me that we have much to learn about the 'shared' history of everything. Therefore wine, the world of Hospitality happens to be my medium as I search and seek truths and meaning to the world I live in and the life I live....

Listening to 'Soul Eyes'