Jazz, which was born out of a counter culture reaction to the classist and racist classical music industry, took adversity with stride as it developed ingenious techniques of multiple improve melodies. It was not just music that was a rebellion, but also the Jazz culture that developed from intimate Jazz Clubs where cigarettes and alcohol came standard as a harmonious mix of smoke and music filled the night air. It was a safe space for all races and it was because of this that Jazz became a vocal and instrumental haven for those yearning for an escape from rigid racial and societal norms. Jazz’s style of unstructured melodies echoed the laidback mood of the audience and fueled the down-to-earth atmosphere that was so unique to Jazz culture at the time. Another distinctive element of this music style was the warm relationship that existed between the audience and the band that grew stronger with each song which shared raw emotions of human strife.
Joe Williams, born in a small farming town of Cordele, Georgia, had become one of the most famous Jazz musicians in history and during his career was nominated for 8 Grammy awards. Many of his songs conveyed some of the most intimate and vulnerable moments in life. This piece, “Joe William: 1995,” is a testament to the openness and tenderness that Jazz evokes from the musicians onto the audience as a dual gift of emotion and song.