Jolting jazz |

Jolting jazz

Dear Editor:

As Scott Gilbert before me, I would like to congratulate the Jazz Aspen Snowmass team for a great June series. The selection of artist was diverse, fun and, in the case of Dianne Reeves, stunning. I was not very familiar with Anita Baker’s music, but I knew her reputation, and I was eagerly looking forward to her show.

I have no explanation for the rudeness that Scott experienced in the inner seats, but I can explain why people left, particularly those around me on the house left side. Simply … it was way too loud, far exceeding that of any other act during the festival.

I am a lifelong drummer that has played at obscenely loud levels … and I now have the hearing to prove it. My ears would ring for days after a performance. But I have never experienced the real pain that I did in that concert. I lasted three songs before my wife, a friend and I had to leave. I was extremely disappointed, because the level of talent and musicianship onstage was amazing. Ms. Baker was the consummate pro and a joy to behold.

Maybe my past sins are catching up with me and my 56-year-old ears won’t take it any more. But with all we have learned in the past few decades about sound-pressure levels and hearing loss, maybe we should try to mitigate the extremes and have some guidelines for the acts to follow.

Sorry, Scott, and anyone else who was offended … I didn’t mean to be rude. I just had to protect what hearing I have left.

Robert Griffiths


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