I’m watching Imagination Off The Charts: Jacob Collier Comes To MIT on YouTube, and I feel incredibly grateful music can be so multifarious, prismatic, and joyful.
Most crazy-ninja types are savants - uniquely gifted in one area, but I can’t imagine them, you know, mowing the lawn, or ordering ice cream or something. Jacob Collier’s a genius - a generational musical talent, but also articulate (alarmingly so), and possessing an insatiable intellectual curiosity, engaged by everything and with everyone.
I’m most impressed by his ability and willingness to teach. “Those you can do, do, and those who can’t, teach” is ridiculous to the point of being offensive. One grade-A rat bastard came up with that pithy nugget of bullshit, and I wish him or her an eternity of wet-willies. Collier’s relationship with music is effortless, and such mastery combined with a gentle soul breeds profound awareness, which begets inspired patience. Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Herbie Hancock - all the true greats possess this quality.
I met Jacob Collier a few years back when the Al Stone band opened for Stevie Wonder in Hyde Park in London. I had no idea who he was at the time, so we were just two affable schmucks watching soccer, drinking coffee, and bullshitting about jet lag. It was a fun hang, and we went our separate ways without my giving it a second thought, until someone showed me YouTube videos later that evening and I face palmed my way back to the US.
I like smart, talented and kind people. I like Jacob Collier. And I think you will, too.