I’ve been into jazz music for as far back as I can remember; back in high school, i was the odd guy who was already bobbing to the music of John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Chic Corea and Weather Report more than i was listening to the popular music of the Rolling Stones, Led Zepellin, Elton John or Stevie Wonder.

I would save up on my allowance for weeks just to buy Long Playing (LP) Vinyl jazz records (my daughter would later call them big black CDs) and i would smell the album casing once it was unwrapped of its plastic cover. Aside from records, i would also collect jazz on cassette tapes which were easier to carry and much cheaper than LP records.

Collecting anything on Jazz, i.e. records, books, tapes and later on, CDs became an obsession and i would watch all concerts of foreign jazz artists that would perform locally. I had always been passionate about it that when me and some friends would play a game called “blindfold test” on who among us would be the first one to guess who the artist on the record was, i even went further by naming all musicians involve on the album, the instruments they were playing, the title of the album, the date it was recorded, etc. and that would elicit some amazement and laughter from friends.

The type of jazz i listen to is geared towards the mainstream and avant garde (Kenny Wheeler, Keith Jarrett, Cecil Taylor, Marilyn Crispell) and i absolutely do not care for the so-called smooth jazz, jazz fusion or instrumental pop thing (Kenny G and his minions).

I took a moratorium from all this jazz thing when i started to get serious with running again 5 years ago and all the energies that were spent collecting jazz music were now spent on running shoes and other running accessories. Most of my jazz friends were aghast on this sudden departure and couldn’t understand all this running and fitness obsession of mine.

Kenny Wheeler’s Music For Large & Small Ensembles. My all-time favorite jazz recording!

Right now, i’m starting to get re-acquainted with my music and listening to favorite cds when i have the time. I still have about a thousand CDs, 99% of them jazz and the remaining 1% are classical music. When running buddy June Santiago, who is also an avid jazz enthusiast invited me to watch one of  the jazz world’s guitar legend John Abercrombie just recently, the passion was ignited once again bringing the special kinship back to its old fore. That jazz and running will be in tandem once again, and the jazzrunner will be bringing them all to you!

Jazz great John Abercrombie at the 1st Philippine International Jazz and Blues Guitar Festival at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza last June 1, 2012

Abercrombie, Guitar with Adam Nussbaum, Drums and Gary Versace, Organ

A silent pause

Giving their vows and appreciation

With the man himself

With June and Adam Nussbaum