- A person who likes, knows about, and appreciates a usually fervently pursued interest or activity: devotee.
(Ref: Merriam-Webster Online, Word of the Day, 4 August 2020)
Use it in a sentence
It was only their fourth date, so Jess and Tom were still on their very best behaviour, both very polite and careful. They were certainly comfortable with each other, but they hadn’t even begun to test the limits. When Tom had asked Jess if she was into jazz, she answered yes immediately, thinking about John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and all those other classics born last century. Tom claimed to be a jazz aficionado and had become rather animated about his favourite club, The Black and Ivory Keys.
Now they made their way from the dark of night to the dark of the club and immediately Jess was taken aback by the silence of the audience. It was jam packed, with people standing at the bar, in the corners, wedged around tiny round tables, all enraptured by the trio playing on stage. The audience were so close to the musicians that a man in front flinched each time the double bass player launched into a spirited bit of playing.
Tom’s face lit up as he took her hand and led her toward the bar. ‘Oh wow! I didn’t realise these guys were playing tonight. Damn this is going to be good. Experimental jazz,’ he said, grinning.
Jess narrowed her eyes suspiciously. Experimental, she thought to herself, I don’t think I’m going to hear any Miles Davis here tonight.
They both slipped quietly into bar stools just vacated, and settled in with their gin and tonics.
It was only then that Jess was able to get her bearings and focus on the music. Her face was soon a kaleidoscope of expressions which included astonishment, dismay, confusion and, finally, pain. She quickly deduced that experimental jazz had no melody, no tune, no lyrics, or indeed any discernible rhythm or beat.
The trumpet player used his whole body to do play – his head thrown back, then pitched forward, rising up on his toes then rocking backwards, all whilst blowing into the mouthpiece. But the only sound that came out were odd squirts and burps.
The guitarist plucked at his strings almost viciously, resentfully, as though daring it to make a tune.
But Jess was transfixed by the percussionist. His face was agony and ecstasy at once. He hit, flicked, tapped everything with his drumsticks, dropping them now and then and swatting at things with his hand instead. At one point, he picked up his snare drum, cradled it in his arms, and blew on the side of it, much like a father might blow on his baby’s bare tummy. It made the same sort of noise.
Twenty minutes later ‘Song 1’ finally finished. But they launched immediately into ‘Song 2’ so that Jess could not even catch her breath.
She soon had a crick in her neck from cocking her head sideways in consternation. She looked at Tom who was mesmerised and smiling vaguely, happily.
He caught her eye. ‘What do you think?’
Jess felt unreasonably angry. Watching the trio was like watching two silly and naïve teenagers smooching in a car. There was a lot of thrashing about and the windows steamed up, but they didn’t know what to do with their passion and in the end they would go home unsatisfied and wondering what happened exactly.
She frowned at him and whispered in his ear. ‘This is the most self-indulgent, egotistical, narcissistic load of artistic shit I’ve ever heard. I’ve got a massive headache. I’m going home.’
Jess slipped as quietly as she could from her stool, shaking her head, and made quickly for the door.
It wasn’t going to work out with Tom.