The great Jazz musician, Art Blakely, once said that ‘jazz music washes away the dust of everyday life’. Now although Art Blakely himself does not make it on our list of top 10 jazz artists to enjoy whilst using a dry herb vape – it’s no fault of his own – there’s just too many darn good jazz musicians out there. Sorry, Mr Blakely! Nonetheless, what he said was true and still is. The beautiful, improvised nature of jazz makes it, debatably, the best genre of music in the world. Not only that, its lustrous history also proves why it deserves a lifelong listen. Furthermore, the history of cannabis also coincides with jazz music – many musicians found that the two together can create spectacular art. That is why today we will be telling you the top 10 artists you absolutely must listen to whilst hitting your weed vape. The unity of weed and jazz is a romance born long before any of us existed. As always, strap yourself in. Get out your record player, walkman, Spotify, or whatever you use to listen to music. Let’s go.
Cannabis & Jazz
Cannabis and jazz… what a pairing. It would be impossible to discuss cannabis or jazz without either getting a mention somewhere along the way. Jazz was truly discovered in the United States in the early part of the 1900s, curated by African Americans who combined a mixture of other music genres to create jazz. It was a way of expression. Plus, the majority of black people in America at that time were marginalised in society and, in consequence, needed a way to express themselves. Like the black community was centuries ago, weed was stolen and taken from its native land. It seems then, that marijuana and jazz music came together in harmony. In fact, jazz musicians who adored the cannabis plant named themselves the ‘vipers’. Not only did cannabis and jazz both come about from struggle, but both scientifically worked together. Weed is known for its relaxing and calming effects, as well as slowing everything down in some senses. These effects make jazz music even better. Musicians would take cannabis and watch as the improvised nature of jazz would slow down and they could be even more particular with their instruments. If you’re a jazz musician yourself then you should definitely give it a go. Fill up your dry herb vape and get some jazz piano going.
But in the meantime, let’s take a look at 10 jazz musicians you simply have got to listen to whilst using your dry herb vape.
“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”
Best Song: What a Wonderful World
Best Album: New Orleans In Chicago
Louis Armstrong was an American trumpetist and vocalist who was a pioneer within jazz music. Well known for his incredibly gravelly voice and insane trumpet solos, this man will take you on a weed vape journey. Oh and Armstrong loved cannabis. In fact, he referred to it as ‘the gage’. When questioned on his nickname for it, he said: “that was our cute little nickname for marijuana…we always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drink and with much better thoughts than one that’s full of liquor.”. He used the green to inspire his music. Why not join him and enjoy his tunes with the magic of marijuana?
“My audience was my life. What I did and how I did it, was all for my audience.”
Best Song: Minnie The Moocher
Best Album: Singin’ N’ Swingin’
Cab Calloway was an inspiring singer, bandleader, dancer, actor and all-round entertainer who was known for his charismatic performances and for being in charge of a very talented swing band. He had an insane talent for scat singing and even acted in a few incredible films – such as, the Blues Brothers and Stormy Weather. Cab Calloway was also a fan of the Mary Jane, which is exemplified in his song ‘Reefer Man’. Go grab some cannabis for yourself, listen to his tunes, and become the reefer man that Mr Calloway sings about.
“No time to marry, no time to settle down; I’m a young woman, and I ain’t done runnin’ around.”
Best Song: Down Hearted Blues
Best Album: Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out
Bessie Smith was one of the best ever Jazz singers and she’s been labeled the ‘empress of jazz’. She would move the audience, create emotion out of nothing and she could sing with or without a mic; her voice had superpowers. As you can see in the quote below her name – she was a woman who knew her worth wasn’t going to be given to her by a man. A born feminist. Bessie Smith was also known to be part of the Vipers; she loved the green. Join her and be taken on an emotional adventure.
”Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”
Best Song: So What?
Best Album: Kind Of Blue
Miles Davis and his trumpeting abilities were a force to be reckoned with. At 13 he was introduced to the trumpet by his father, and he was asked to come up and play with Charlie Parker at just 17. His album Kind of Blue is known to be one of the best jazz albums ever created and is the best-selling jazz album ever; with over 2 million copies. Part of the viper community, Miles Davis realised, like many before him, that jazz music is a great metaphor for life. There are no mistakes in jazz as it’s completely improvised. There’s no right or wrong. Maybe everyone would be happier if they took this idea into their life.
“Jazz was born on whiskey, raised on marijuana, and will die on heroin.”
Best Song: In A Sentimental Mood
Best Album: Money Jungle
If Jazz musicians were sweets, Duke Ellington would be something classy and expensive; like something with champagne from Hotel Chocolate. He was one of the best ever jazz pianists and band leaders; releasing more jazz recordings than anyone else on this list. Ellington simply made sounds that no one else had done before him. Get your vape out and enjoy them.
“If you don’t live it, it won’t come out your horn.”
Best Song: Summertime
Best Album: Bird and Diz
Charlie Parker, known to some as the ‘bird’, may have had a shorter life than some of the others on this list, but by god, it was an eventful and fruitful one. He played the saxophone like no other and, as you can see in his quote, for him it was more about just playing, it was about real-life emotion. He believed you had to bring everything into your playing to make it truly authentic. Charlie Parker tried heroin for the first time when he was only 15 and cannabis came soon after. Whilst this may sound far fetched – but many have accredited his extreme talent to the eye opening substance of cannabis.
“I’m definitely a romantic, I don’t think life is really worth all the pain and effort and struggling if you don’t have somebody that you love very much.”
Best Song: I Fall in Love Too Easily
Best Album: The Pacific Jazz Years
Chet Baker, also known as the James Dean of jazz, was a very handsome man, and talented trumpet player and singer. He was the poster boy of West Coast cool jazz, and he was known for his relaxed, slow and sexy style. He never played a note that didn’t need to be played. It was rumoured that Chet would smoke cannabis with his mother and father, whilst listening to jazz music. Everything about that image says cool. Except perhaps the ‘smoking part’, if only there were dry herb vapes back in those days. Fun fact: Ethan Hawke plays Chet Baker in Born To Be Blue; a biopic film about the great musician. Why not get stoned and watch this too? Or for our top 10 films to watch whilst stoned, click here.
“It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.”
Best Song: Hallelujah, I Love Him So
Best Album: Lullabies of Birdland
Ella Fitzgerald, or ‘the First Lady of song’, sold over 40 million albums, won 13 Grammys and was simply outstanding. Known for her incredible and lovable voice, Fitzgerald may be the best singer that ever lived. Her and Louis Armstrong even sung together on some songs, which for us mortals, is like listening to pure ecstasy (or cannabis). Ella Fitzgerald was not always the biggest fan of smoking, purely so she could maintain her beautiful voice. However, perhaps if vapes had been around then, which are much healthier than smoking, she’d have been more inclined.
“After all the investigation, all of the technique-doesn’t matter! Only if the feeling is right.”
Best Song: My Favourite Things
Best Album: A Love Supreme
John Coltrane, the saxophonist, composer and bandleader extraordinaire, believed in something bigger than just jazz. He was all about the message. The feeling. For him, you could be the best musician in the world, but without the soul you’re just a hollow shell. John Coltrane realised, like many before him, that jazz and weed go hand in hand. Both promote relaxation, feeling and flow.
“Love is like a faucet, it turns off and on.”
Best Song: God Bless This Child
Best Album: Lady in Satin
Billie Holiday, also known as ‘Lady Day’, was a jazz and swing singer that gave the entire world goosebumps. She was never formally trained, but her hard work, authentic emotion and knowledge of jazz made her one of the greatest ever female jazz singers. Her style was moving, honest and fresh. Billie Holiday’s time with drugs was a sad one at times, especially when she was banned from singing at cabaret shows for 10 years due to heroin addiction. The man who did this to her, Anslinger – the head of the Bureau of Narcotics, believed that marijuana was a dangerous substance as it slowed down perception. To him, that was why jazz was so inhumanly slow and odd. Evidently he didn’t understand weed or jazz… poor, sad guy.
Let’s enjoy cannabis and jazz together – in awe of Billie Holiday, and with a middle finger up to Anslinger.