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Dating Advice from . . . Jazz Musicians

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Joe, 28



What would you do if your significant other suggested that the two of you visit a swingers’ club?

I’m not so sure that would be for me. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’m kinda more about being with my significant other, and her only. If I’m unable to keep it spicy enough on my own, then there’s something wrong.

Which jazz instrument best represents the tone you like to set on a first date?

Upright bass, I think. Smooth and consistent, but able to throw in a few surprises along the way.

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Usually, the bass is pretty clear about what it’s doing and leads others in the right direction. A good bass player makes things very comfortable. The bass to me is the foundation of a jazz group, and it’s important to set a good foundation of things to come in a relationship.

I feel as if my man doesn’t pay attention to me. He’s constantly forgetting plans we’ve made or things I’ve said five minutes earlier. He jokes that it’s his ADD. I’m still hurt, because I feel as if it’s a sign that he doesn’t care. Am I overreacting?

He’s either a huge space cadet or he really doesn’t care. Either way, I think there is no excuse for that! Maybe it’s because I tend to pay great attention to detail and remember almost everything, but he’s got to pay attention more.

The girl I’m seeing makes significantly less money than me so, naturally, when we go out, it’s always my treat. I’m not made of money, though, and my wallet is starting to feel the strain. Do you have any ideas for cheap but unique dates?

Why not make dinner once in awhile, but make entirely too much food? It may cost you just as much for the evening, but you will leave yourself with meals for the next three days, which will save you dinero in the end! I’ve only met a couple of girls who didn’t love the idea of me cooking for them! Afternoon picnic in the park. Sounds corny to guys, but girls may see it as cute/romantic. You can do it with lunch meat and a couple of rolls!

Back when my girlfriend and I were still living with our parents, we had sex on a fairly regular basis, despite the necessity for door locks and quickies. Now that we’ve moved in together, she’s never in the mood. I’m beginning to think it was the thrill of possibly getting caught that revved her engine. How can we make sex exciting again?

If it’s the thrill that she’s missing, maybe try doing it in "strange" places, where you would still run a small risk of getting caught but hopefully not arrested! In a changing room at your favorite store, or in a random room or closet at an event. I don’t really have any experience with that kind of stuff, but maybe that’s because I’d be too scared to get caught!

Yoon, 36

yoonsunchoi.com




Jazz musicians are known for their improvisational skills. How do you improvise when a date goes wrong?

Sorry to disappoint, but jazz musicians have as much trouble improvising as anyone else when they’re away from their instruments. I do remember being one month shy of eighteen and getting kicked out of an attempt to see a restricted movie. My date and I ended up at some ridiculous film — Police Academy 5, maybe? — and made fun of it the whole time. Good times.

You’ve got rhythm. . . you’ve got music. . . you’ve got a hot date. . . who can ask for anything more? If you were to put together a survival kit for your night on the town, what would it include?

The great advantage to being a woman is being able to carry a handbag filled with survival tools. I would bring condoms, a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, perfume, fully charged cell phone to text your best friend about how hot your date is, Advil in case you wake up hung over and realize you’ve made a terrible mistake, and enough cab fare to get you from Bay Ridge to Washington Heights. ‘Cause you might want to get away quick!

What would appear on your ultimate playlist of seduction?

Actually, I wouldn’t put any jazz on my playlist. I would get distracted and start listening to the music instead of focusing on my date. But for all those non-jazz musician folks, I would suggest selections from John Coltrane’s "Blue Train," Chet Baker’s "It Could Happen To You," Bill Evan’s "Alone," Antonio Carlos Jobim’s "Elis & Tom," and João Gilberto’s "Live in Montreaux," just to get things started.

The girl I’m seeing makes significantly less money than me so, naturally, when we go out, it’s always my treat. I’m not made of money, though, and my wallet is starting to feel the strain. Do you have any ideas for cheap but unique dates?

On a jazz musician’s salary, I have an abundance of experience finding cheap ways to spend the evening. A lot of the museums in Manhattan and Brooklyn usually have a freebie night. The first Saturday of the month, the Brooklyn Museum is free and they have tons of free concerts and events happening. The Museum of Natural History has jazz concerts and it’s usually pay what you can. There are tons of jazz performances that are very cheap — a lot of the time, it’s either no cover or pay-what-you-can. On the warm nights, you could take your date for an evening walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, share your iPod headphones, and dance real close.

I have a serious, live-in boyfriend, but find myself flirting with men at work. Is it a sign that the relationship I’m in is not the right one? When do flirty e-mails and lunches-for-two cross the line into emotional-cheating territory?

Flirting with other men doesn’t mean your relationship is the wrong one. We all feel attraction to other people, and that’s cool. But does your boyfriend know you’re this way? If not, and he’d be upset, it sounds as if the cost of behaving this way is secrecy — and that’s not cool.

My man likes trashy reality TV, but I’d rather be watching the Cartoon Network. How do we resolve this problem? And what does this say about our compatibility?

Why do you need to resolve it? My husband and I rarely agree about that stuff and we’re happy as clams.

     

  

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Ryan, 27

ryanmeagher.com

Jazz musicians are known for their improvisational skills. How do you improvise when a date goes wrong?

When I was about sixteen and living in San Jose, I’d planned on taking a girl to dinner in San Francisco. I ended up getting lost miserably. It’s about an hour drive between the two cities, so after driving for an hour to San Francisco, and then driving around lost for an hour, we decided to head back to San Jose and get food there. When all was said and done, we ate at a restaurant about five minutes from where I picked her up. The real date ended up being the hours of driving we did. What should have been a disaster actually ended up being really fun, because our personalities kept the tone light and fun. Like good jazz musicians, you make the best out of the situation you are thrown into.

You’ve got rhythm. . . you’ve got music. . . you’ve got a hot date. . . who can ask for anything more? If you were to put together a survival kit for your night on the town, what would it include?

My date kit includes a Tide To-Go pen, because I am impossibly messy, a stub from my most recent paycheck to make sure she’s not dating me for the money, and those glasses that Homer Simpson wears during jury duty that make it look like your eyes are open when you are sleeping. No, I don’t have a particular date kit. I never went on a date expecting to get some. I think it’s kind of a jinx to your mojo if you do that. In jazz, all you can do is play your best, and hope good things happen. Not every solo you take will leave the crowd standing and cheering.

What would appear on your ultimate playlist of seduction?

The greatest album in the history of date music is Johnny Hartman and John Coltrane on Impulse! Records. From Johnny Hartman’s unbelievably sexy baritone voice, to Trane’s sensitive solos and fills wrought with unending genius, every song is about the most romantic thing I have ever heard.



Which jazz instrument best represents the tone you like to set on a first date?

Thelonious Monk playing an intro: quirky, deep, and unmistakably unique.

My boyfriend’s going to grad school five states away. We’re staying together despite the physical separation. What can we do to stay connected?

Long-distance relationships are hard, no doubt: I’m currently involved with a flight attendant. She’s in town about ten days a month. I also have a friend who lives in New York as a jazz musician, and his wife lives in L.A. as an actress. Most people will tell you not to stay in a long-distance relationship. I won’t tell you that, but what I can say is that it is a lot of work. The best thing to do is to come up with a system to keep in contact through the distance. Schedule phone calls, e-mails, Skype video chats, see each other as much as possible, enjoy the time you have all to yourself, trust your partner, and don’t put too much pressure on each other when you do finally get to see each other.

I feel as if my man doesn’t pay attention to me. He’s constantly forgetting plans we’ve made or things I’ve said five minutes earlier. He jokes that it’s his ADD. I’m still hurt, because I feel as if it’s a sign that he doesn’t care. Am I overreacting?

If it’s undying devotion and attention you are seeking, men figured this out eons ago and got themselves "man’s best friend." Let your man be your man, and get a puppy to shower you with affection whenever you demand it. If he still isn’t giving you the attention you need from him after your dog satisfies your petty thirst, it’s probably because you’re boring. . . or he’s cheating on you.

Aaron, 30

aaronsiegel.net


Jazz musicians are known for their improvisational skills. How do you improvise when a date goes wrong?

I forgot to buy advance tickets to a movie and we were bitterly disappointed by the hand-scrawled "Sold Out" sign in the ticket booth. The only thing we could do was sit down over coffee and write a review of the film we never saw. We panned it.

What would appear on your ultimate playlist of seduction?

I’m more of soul man myself when it comes to musical seduction: Al Green, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, D’Angelo. These guys are going to keep the eyes locked and the imaginations supple.

W
hat would you do if your significant other suggested that the two of you visit a swingers’ club?


As a bandleader, I have a strict code about subs on a gig: I have to know well in advance. Timing is key if someone new is going to be joining the band.

I feel as if my man doesn’t pay attention to me. He’s constantly forgetting plans we’ve made or things I’ve said a mere five minutes earlier. He jokes that it’s his ADD. I’m still hurt, because I feel as if it’s a sign that he doesn’t care. Am I overreacting?

I get annoyed every time I am reminded that it takes open ears and hard work to grow a meaningful relationship. But that doesn’t mean I don’t need to be reminded. Without being defeatist, I can say that this is one struggle I will never overcome. But I always appreciate a direct communication about hurt feelings rather than a quiet resentment.

My biological clock is saying baby, but my brain is telling me that neither me nor my boyfriend are ready for marriage or parenthood. Is it just me, or is this relationship not the one?

Who the hell knows anything about "the one"? You can build a life around any relationship as long as all parties are committed to putting in the work together. It’s probably true that some people are more compatible with each other, but after a certain point, it’s all gray area.

My man likes trashy reality TV, but I’d rather be watching the Cartoon Network. How do we resolve this problem? And what does this say about our compatibility?

Gilligan’s Island. Neither reality nor cartoon, but a fateful trip and one that should sufficiently shake off your clearly unreasonable sensibilities.

Interviews by Steph Auteri. Dating
Advice From… appears on Fridays. Have questions for the general
public? Send them to sexadvicefrom@nerve.com.

  

     

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©2009 Nerve.com, Inc.