Jazz is an expensive habit.

Jazz is an expensive habit.

I’ve been out of college for a little over three years, working at “real” jobs most of that time, but I don’t have too many long-range things to show for it. I’m 28, but I don’t have a Roth IRA. I don’t have a penny in any mutual funds. I currently do not own any stock. When I retire at 65, I doubt I’ll be a millionaire.

But I have seen Sonny Rollins play for two hours straight, making sounds with a saxophone I’ve never heard anywhere else, I’ve seen Milt Jackson play vibes in front of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (with Ray Brown on bass) at the Hollywood Bowl just weeks before he died. I’ve heard Joe Williams belt out “Flamingo” days before his passing. I’ve enjoyed Mose Allison’s set on a couple occasions, I’ve been lucky enough to see Jimmy Smith play a small club, and Brother Jack McDuff kick ass in a big venue. I’ve loved hearing Oscar Brown Jr. three or four times, Kenny Burrell on numerous occasions, and Horace Silver, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dave Pike, and The Phil Norman Tentet in the past.

I have a stack of CDs and mp3s from all these artists and many others including Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Cliff Brown, Cannonball Adderly, David “Fathead” Newman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, and Charlie Parker.

Earlier tonight, Kay and I caught Dr. John at Yoshi’s in the east bay and it was an all-around great time.

So, while I may never be a rich man, I know my life is richer having indulged and enjoyed all these artists, and I don’t regret any of the choices for a second.