What’s better than a nightcap after a long day, or week, to unwind? We vote you should have that nightcap while listening to your favourite music. And because you are on this website it’s safe to conclude that your favourite music is jazz. In all its smoothness and evocativeness; in all its ups and downs and how it seems to nurture all those who flock to it as an outlet, jazz is all-consuming.
Now, you have planned your evening off to get reacquainted with the maestros you love. Like a good student, you have done your homework, and each time you have these solitary jazz nights you are hoping for extra credit. Hoping to come away a better student. You know that by the third sip of the second glass of your best drink – the one you always select for this important occasion – you will have realised and learnt something new about these great artists you study.
We have a proposal for you this week. As you prepare for your usual evening of winding down with your nightcap of choice, consider being adventurous. Consider straying from the norm and trying something new with your drinks. Even consider changing the look of your wind-down evenings altogether.
The more, the merrier…
Invite a few friends over who are also scholars and lovers of jazz. Friends who yearn to understand the music better, as much as you do. Dedicate the evening to one artist and one album. A resolution to study one artist’s entire catalogue could take months and will require a patient commitment from all participants. Maybe this is the reason you choose to study and absorb your favourite music on your own, shut away from the world. You have the patience, it’s been proven by how you have listened to the same catalogues for decades, each time trying to discern something new.
Drinkify your evening
If you are ever looking to add a little fun to your jazz evening and mix it up with the evening’s night cap, visit Drinkify, a fun website that poses the question: “Why drink alone when you can drink with your favourite music?” On the website you search artists by name. When you type in “John Coltrane” the result reads, “Don’t listen to John Coltrane alone. We suggest…The John Coltrane.”
The John Coltrane is a simple drink: 119ml of red wine. “Serve neat, stir vigorously,” the page advises. The Miriam Makeba is made with 355ml of Canadian club whiskey and 355ml of wheatgrass juice – “combine in shaker and strain into cocktail glass. Serve” the page instructs.
For a moment, perusing Drinkify seems the same as visiting a local bar that is devoted to local legends. A local bar you walk into and the drinks menu reads like a hall of fame.
Imagine hosting a meal where, for the first time since your friends have known you, you deviate from your usual drinks. You let the music lead you and you play roulette. It is always better to warn everyone beforehand. Indeed, what does the jazz music we love taste like? If you were to swirl your favourite jazz song of all time in your mouth, how would that experience be?
Jazz is not one dimensional. It moves and draws in sights, sounds, and feelings. If your favourite jazz song feels like sunshine, or if it feels like a bruise blooming, what would that taste like? Jazz effects and works through all five senses. Pairing the music with a new drink and feeling both the music and spirits reverberate through you is another way to study the music.
Be warned that Drinkify is not a science but rather a fun way to experiment. And, unfortunately, as soon as you get specific (both Jonas Gwangwa and Winston Mankunku Ngozi returned error pages) the website falters. The experience is restricted to western artists. You can always take recommendations from fellow jazz connoisseurs who enjoy a sip of something strong (or smooth) every now and then to