Jazz music: A way to reduce anxiety before surgery

Listening to music has been proven to boost one’s mood, health, and overall well-being. While music helps improve sleep quality and exercises the brain which contributes to better memory and mental vitality, medical practitioners also identified it as an instrument for reducing anxiety and depression.


Image source: netdoctor.com

Studies show that people tend to be emotionally stressed on the thought of going through a surgical procedure. Medical experts have capitalized on music, particularly jazz and classical music, to decrease the anxiety of patients who need to go under the knife. Based on findings, such kind of sound has helped normalize heart rate of patients who underwent eye surgery and hysterectomy (removal of all or part of the uterus). The standard tempo of jazz music, in particular, helps in soothing a patient’s mind and body.

Although the benefits of listening particularly to jazz cannot be linked to decreasing the feeling of pain during post-surgical operations, music tends to lower pain levels as it increases relaxation. In some cases, patients claim that listening to music is more effective than taking pain relief medications.

According to an article published by the Pain Research Center at the University of Utah, focusing on music triggers emotional responses that challenge pain tracts to process pain and aches. Some anesthesiologists are now looking into incorporating music during surgical operations as it is more cost-effective and has the potential to improve patients’ recovery.

Woman Relaxing Listening To Music Wearing Headphones

Image source: modvive.com

There’s not a day that passes by without me listening to soft and jazzy notes from my playlist. Christopher J. Keehner here. See you on Twitter.



Soaring high: The best Philadelphia Eagles players ever

The City of Brotherly Love loves its football and, of course, the Eagles. Now, even after 83 years without a single Super Bowl victory, the team has had its share of great, talented players over the years.


Image source: threedonia.com

Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb
These two all-time great quarterbacks are the best ever to orchestrate the offense of the Eagles. Both were dominant both on the field and on the stats sheet. They even competed in multiple Pro Bowls. Cunningham though gains the upper hand because of his ten years of service to the team, while McNabb experienced much maligned career.

Brian Dawkins
Arguably the best safety of his generation, no one exemplifies the spirit of Philadelphia better than Weapon X. Serving as the heart and soul of the team, he is a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and the 20/20 club (over 20 sacks and 20 interceptions.)

Chuck Bednarik
The last great two-way player in the sport, his talent was compounded by his drive and competitive spirit. As a linebacker, he earned the reputation of being one of the hardest hitters in the history of football. What is even more amazing is that he also starred at center of the Eagles’ offensive team.


Image source: gettyimages.com

Reggie White
The explosive, quarterback-terrorizing Minister of Defense does not only lay claim to the title of Best Philadelphia Eagle ever, he is also considered as the greatest defensive player in league history.

Christopher J. Keehner here. For more interesting tidbits about the great Philadelphia Eagles, follow me on Twitter.

Lessons Learned From The Rise And Fall Of Bethlehem Steel

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Image source: Wikimedia.org

The Golden Gate Bridge, George Washington Bridge, and the United States Supreme Court, the main supplier of the first railroads and most of the Manhattan Skyscrapers – these were just a few of the distinctions of Bethlehem Steel. Incidentally Bethlehem Steel was also the top military contractor of World War II.

Founded in the late 19th century, opportunistic entrepreneurs and engineers took advantage of new and increasingly efficient technologies in iron production and an abundance of raw materials in Pennsylvania. They established Bethlehem Iron, which was acquired by the nation’s then largest steel maker, US Steel Corporation, during the turn of the century. The marriage begot Bethlehem Steel.

It arose to the pinnacle of the industry by utilizing new innovations in technology, which improved the efficiency of steel production. The laborers worked diligently as well, but they were managed ruthlessly for the most part.

The company also took advantage of the market environment, supplying the construction materials of infrastructure. These materials experienced a boom back then, as did the raw materials for weapons that involved almost the entire world.

Image source: scenariojournal.com

Image source: scenariojournal.com

Unfortunately, over time they strayed away from what had made them successful. As the environment changed, they resisted adapting to it. The company, particularly its management team, failed to meet the challenge of the advancement of technology, shift in market, and emergence of foreign and local competitors.

Decades of descent culminated in bankruptcy, dissolution, and sale in early 2000. What was once the king of steel is now just a lesson for aspiring businesses: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Hi, Christopher J. Keehner here. I used to work for Bethlehem Steel until its closure in 2003. Currently, I run a machines shop in Philadelphia. Read my blog here for discussion about business among other things.

New book talks about jazz music and its connection to physics

Physicist and jazz lover, Stephon Alexander, recently released a new book that linked physics – particularly the area of cosmology – and jazz music. When I heard about it, I thought this was rather far-fetched. Don’t get me wrong. I am a big jazz lover, but somehow the concept of physics and music seemed too distant for me. Reading his interview though, I must say I was intrigued by the concept.


Image Source: gizmodo.com

Alexander proposed that jazz music, with its high improvisation, is similar to the string theory of physics. This theory suggests that the universe is made from a series of strings that resonate with different vibrations and scales. The specific wave in which a string makes composes matter into what we know today. Alexander believes that in modern times, the string theory has evolved into a more improvisational system. By this, he means that forces in the universe regularly improvise scales, changing wavelengths; although these changes are repetitive and cyclical. These events could be big bangs or big crunches. Physicists consider these events as predictable, yet each event is unique because of specific factors. This is similar to the how jazz enthusiasts say no two performances are the same – even if they are played by the same artist. The song itself is the same, but there are variations every time.


Image Source: gizmodo.com

I have yet to read the book, and to be honest, I am not sure I fully explained the relationship quite well. I do find this topic to be interesting and will take a further look at this.

Hi! I am Christopher Keehner, a big jazz lover. I am always interested to hear the latest news about jazz and how it relates to other fields. Learn new things with me by following me on Twitter.

An Imminent Restructuring: What The Eagles Can Expect From Joe Douglas

The front office of the Philadelphia Eagles is undergoing big changes as they announced the hiring of Joe Douglas. He was previously a longtime scout of the Bears and the Ravens. For the Eagles, however, he will be filling in the role of vice president of player personnel. Philly also hired Andy Weidl in addition to Douglas. As the assistant director of player personnel, he and Joe worked together in Baltimore for almost a decade. Both of them will be reporting to Howie Roseman, the vice president of football operations. Douglas was able to gain back his footing over roster movements back in December.

Joe Douglas went to high school in Mechanicsville, Virginia, where he played as an all-state linesman. When he went to college at Richmond, he continued playing football. His career in the university was nothing short of successful. For 45 straight games, he started at tackle. By his senior year, he became part of the All-Atlantic 10 team. During his days with Baltimore, he helped the team draft Super Bowl champion quarterback Joe Flacco and Pro Bowl offensive guard Ben Grubbs.

Image source: bleacherreport.net

Image source: bleacherreport.net

The team hired him as a way of beefing up the personnel of the Eagles. According to peers, he is an extremely hard worker and a good scout. The team expects that his scouting talents, which helped the Ravens snag a Super Bowl champion and a Pro Bowl level player, will greatly benefit the Eagles. He is a smart hire in the personnel division and everybody has nothing but high expectations from him.

Hey there! Christopher J. Keehner here. For more updates about our favorite NFL team, follow me on Twitter.

Teaching Younger Kids To Like Jazz

Image Source: YouTube.com

Image Source: YouTube.com

Recent discussions about jazz have been rather upsetting. Most people believe people who like jazz, especially if they are young, are somehow pretentious.

For people my age, this can be rather sad; sort of like having no one to whom we can pass the torch on a great era for musical taste. When reading articles purporting the pretentiousness of jazz as appropriated in todat’s mainstream musical cultures, I do understand the perspective of the authors. These are young adults who have heard about the magic of jazz but failed to see (or hear) the importance of the movement.

The beauty of the genre was diminished further when a small group of people proclaimed themselves “jazz experts” but were really trying to seem more radical than they really were – in the same way people embellish the truth to appear non-conformist.

On the other hand, I do not believe that an entire musical genre should be disregarded or readily labelled just because of a small population of false fans. This is not to say that all people should like jazz; as with any musical genre, passion and attraction are dependent on individual tastes, which all people should respect. However, this still does not mean that jazz should not be given a chance today.

Image Source: Wikimedia.org

Image Source: Wikimedia.org

Jazz enthusiasts like jazz not only for its rhythm and melody, but also for what it represented at the time. One must remember that jazz began as the musical blending of European music and African beat. It became a symbol of a cross-cultural revolution. It also allowed people to express themselves through music and dance; an unheard-of concept at the time.

Younger kids should realize that jazz is neither pretentious or out-of-date. They should open themselves up to the experience and not be swayed by society’s current opinion of it.

Christopher J. Keehner is a New Orleans jazz enthusiast. Having reached his early 60s, he is passionate about educating the youth about this musical genre and what it stands for. Learn more about jazz by liking this Facebook page.

Philadelphia Eagles’ Season Outlook After the 2016 Draft

Philadelphia Eagles fans have been yearning for playoff success for a long while now, with the team not having won a playoff game since the Donovan McNabb era. The search for the next franchise quarterback has seen nothing but setbacks, and team management probably think current starter Sam Bradford does not fit the bill.

After giving up several draft picks, which would have provided the team at least four potential NFL-level starters now and in the next two seasons, and two current starters in Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell, to move up to the No. 2 pick, the days leading to the draft were eventful for the Eagles.


Image source: philly.com

Ultimately, the Eagles tabbed a collegiate champion in Carson Wentz with the second overall pick, a quarterback out of North Dakota State University. Scouts raved about his passing ability and athleticism, with analysts comparing him to current NFL quarterback standouts, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. If he can come close to playing like any of those two within the next few years, our team can be a perennial contender. The draft also saw the Eagles filling out positional needs at center, offensive guard and linebacker.

So with all the transactions the last weeks, a new offensive-minded coach in Doug Pederson, and an unhappy starting quarterback in Bradford, excitement for the upcoming season should be tempered. Will the team get to the playoffs? They probably won’t because the lack of chemistry though would definitely be an issue this 2016. But do the fans love where the team is at now? More likely than not. The future is bright for the Eagles.

Christopher J. Keehner is a Philadelphia resident and an avid fan of its sports team, including the Eagles. Learn more about him and his passion by checking out this website.

On Gato Barbieri’s Contributions to Jazz

Jazz legend Leandro ‘Gato’ Barbieri passed away recently. The entire music community mourned and I felt that the jazz scene would never be the same again. There are always those that leave an indelible mark in the society: sounds can be dipped in satin or tar, but every once in a while, we hear tones that are iridescent. As these melodies enter our ears, we subconsciously feel our heart contract, knowing full well we will never be the same again. That was what Gato’s music meant to me. That was what – I would like to believe – he meant to jazz.

Image source: rollingstone.com

This award-winning jazz saxophonist was the heart behind the beautiful and incredibly sensual score of the 1972 film “Last Tango in Paris” starring Marlon Brando and Marie Schneider. I remember that scene completely, the trademark tenor saxophone sound during the steamy scene. There is no other word to describe other than sensual, for that is precisely what it was. Only a truly insensitive person would fail not to be touched by it. This marked the start of his popularity and he was able to record 50 albums in his career. His last one, “Shadow,” was released in September 2002 and won the Billboard Latin Jazz Album of the Year award.

His contributions to jazz extended beyond his talent. I think it was his ability to use his saxophone as an extension of his heart. Somehow every album was able to touch my heart with the depth of emotions he was able to place. But more importantly, Barbieri’s musical style was highly accessible, being able to combine contemporary jazz with Latin American genres and instrumental pop. He was truly a music icon and I, along with many jazz enthusiasts, will miss him greatly.

Image source: allaboutjazz.com

Hi! My name is Christopher J. Keehner and I live, breathe, and eat jazz. Learn more about my passion on Facebook.

Songs The Soul: Remembering The ‘Unforgettable’ Music Of Natalie Cole

Image source: www.allmusic.com

Image source: www.allmusic.com

With a soft, nimble voice and a musical style that spans from jazz and pop to R&B and soul, Natalie Cole’s legacy in music is somewhat akin to the title of her best-selling record, “Unforgettable.”

In her decades-long career, Natalie followed the footsteps of her famous father, jazz icon Nat King Cole, producing songs that were not only certified hits, but also those that continuously inspire generations of music listeners. The following singles are three of Natalie’s greatest hits:

This Will Be. Featured in numerous films, “This Will Be” was Natalie’s debut single and one of her biggest hits. The song earned Natalie her first two Grammy’s for best new artist and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, a category that had previously been dominated by Aretha Franklin.

Inseparable. Sampled and performed by different artists over the years, “Inseparable” defines Natalie’s affinity with R&B and soul music. This is one the songs that cemented her gold- and platinum-laced career.

Image source: www.celebitchy.com

Image source: www.celebitchy.com

Our Love. Following a string of hits, Natalie released “Our Love” in 1977 from her album, “Thankful.” The song has become one of her most familiar songs selling over one million copies worldwide.

More than her platinum records, Natalie will be remembered for carving out a career of great and unforgettable music.

Let’s talk music. Follow me, Christopher J. Keehner, on Twitter for more musical discussions.

The Big Piano Switch: Taking the Leap from Classical to Jazz

Jazz and classical genres have very different focus and traditions. No one style is easier than the other. While classical music is all about theory, jazz is about the integration of a lot of elements. If you are a classical musician, should you take the leap and give jazz a chance? Here’s what you should know if you’re about to make the big jump from classical to jazz piano playing.

Classical music is strict—playing a piece should be according to how the composer designed it to be. Defiance from the music piece should be avoided at all cost, as it might turn out to be an injustice from the original composition. Jazz is more free-form because it is oral in nature. A lot of stylistic jazz elements cannot be written out on paper.


Image source – prweb.com

Jazz involves a lot of ear training. While classical piano players are trained to read notes while anticipating sounds (from an orchestra, maybe), jazz piano players play it as they sing it. Improvising is key, and jazz musicians build their own arrangements on-the-spot. Jazz does a lot of chord extensions.

Learning jazz is like learning a new language. These vocabularies are far from what classical music mentors and teachers have introduced to us. Read more about licks are and know the names for common patterns.

Playing jazz brings you to a world full of creative possibilities. Christopher J. Keehner here. Follow me on Twitter to know more about jazz music.