I still hate jazz, but…

…but there is currently a commercial running on several of the Canadian TV networks that I just love. It features News Radio 680 traffic reporter Darryl Dahmer flying over Toronto in his small plane, basically talking about his day and about why he loves the job that he’s been doing for over 35 (!) years.

Doodly doo....

And the background music to this is – brace yourself – a little piece of jazz.

Oh god, please stop "noodling"!

Normally when I hear jazz (which is every few minutes on CBC Radio [motto: Making You Feel Terrible, All Day Long]), I express my distaste for the genre in a mature, thoughtful and adult manner that involves a sledgehammer and the words “No, dear god, make it STOP!”, followed by a headlong dash from the room with my hands over my ears.

(A brief aside here: before you send me your outraged letters and recommendations for jazz pieces I simply must hear before closing my misguided mind for good, I’ll say now that “I don’t like jazz” has been done before, and better, by Globe & Mail columnist Tabatha Southey. Look it up, and know that she and I are of one mind on this one. I believe I shall have to make her a Deputy Smiter.)

Anyway, for some reason this commercial has me hooked. It’s done something to my brain, the way good music (or a blow to the head, come to that) does. Not only do I stay in the room when the commercial comes on, but – oh, be still, my heart – I have been known to rush in from another room when I hear it.

In fact (and here, I have outdone myself) I have actually Googled the thing, trying to find out what that compelling piece of music is. Turns out, no one knows. There are entire forums devoted to this, I’ve discovered, and the most anyone can determine is that it is a studio piece composed specially for this commercial.

Ssssh. It's on again.

Having recently spent an afternoon in a recording studio here in Toronto (about which more later) I can testify that studio musicians, sound engineers and producers are a magical, wizardly bunch with the capability of crafting and shaping sounds that get deep inside your cranium and down into the very marrow of your bones like a lovely, lovely virus…. And the folks who crafted the little 680 Radio piece are evidently no exception.

Maybe it’s the accompanying pictures of the Toronto skyline at dawn. Maybe it’s the fact that I love airplanes. Maybe the melody translates as “Dr Smiter rules the Universe” when it’s played backwards on a turntable. Who knows.

Regardless, whoever they are, wherever they may be, and however they did it, these musicians have hauled me in, hook, line and sinker. I salute them.

To see and hear a short clip of the commercial for yourself, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFi8OlbUOHo


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