I know zip about the intricacies of jazz, but I sort of like listening to it. This is due no doubt to the pernicious influence of having watched numerous times one of my favorite movies, The Talented Mr. Ripley, adapted from the novel of Patricia Highsmith. I looked for the book after watching the Matt Damon movie back in 2000, and when I went to Powerbook Arnaiz I pestered the customer service girl as she was looking through the database. “The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Hogsmith. HOGSMITH! Wala? Walang HOGSMITH?!” I demanded in a high-pitched pretentious literati voice.
In the movie Tom Ripley studied jazz by blindfolding himself and identifying the different tracks and performers of various jazz records. He did it so he could kuha the loob of Dickie Greenleaf, whom he sort of kind of loved then hated then killed. What pushed him to whack Dickie in the face with a sagwan was Dickie’s exasperated quip at Tom’s clinginess, “It’s always DICKIE DICKIE DICKIE like a little GIRL!” Whack! And then he took Dickie’s identity and went on a murder spree.
In one scene, while in some Italian bar, Tom sang “My Funny Valentine”. More than haunting it was creepy, as you knew he would just become some kind of killer. I started listening to the soundtrack composed mostly of jazz tracks. It’s the best album to listen to if you have the urge to whack someone in the head with a sagwan.
Back in 2000 Tower Records Glorietta had a basement level that housed talkies, jazz, and other non-mainstream albums. I would go there every Sunday before going to the dorm and listen to random jazz albums for a few minutes. The headphones were always greasy and seemed to always be festering with all sorts of fungi, but the record bar was the one place where you could sample different music without having to buy them. There was no Youtube or Torrents then, so I had to endure the oiliness of the headphones. I never could understand the complexities of jazz, and as Dickie Greenleaf’s father would say, it sometimes just sounds like “insolent noise”. I guess that sort of music is difficult to interpret and appreciate, because at one point you think it’s cool, and the next you’d think it could just be pedestrian elevator or dentist’s waiting room muzak.
Obviously I am listening to Miles Davis again because of… Homeland. In the series whenever Eclair Pains listens to it something horrible happens, like she would receive some horrible news and try to kill herself, or get hit by a rushing Al-Quaeda truck. All of a sudden I miss the record bars. There’s always the fun and excitement of picking up records you’re not sure would be any good. But then the excitement ends and you get horribly annoyed as soon as you reach home and the album turns out to be crap.