Simon Fransman, who identifies himself as a jazz student at the Piteå School of Music in Sweden, has been using his YouTube channel, Simon’s World Of Jazz And Stuff, as a place to explore his twin passions: jazz music and off-putting computer animation. He paradoxically defines it as “a channel dedicated to jazz where nothing and everything makes sense.” In this decidedly nonsensical category is Fransman’s Jam Of The Week, a not-exactly-weekly series he describes as “disturbing.” Each video consists of a minute or two of mechanized-sounding jazz music accompanied by stiff, lurching CGI animation of generally unappealing human or humanoid figures moving in time to the beat. The latest episode, “Wave,”efficiently sums up the core concept. In the clip, a suit-clad man with hideous-looking hair plugs plays a bossa nova-inspired guitar accompaniment as two irradiated, malformed lovers sing a romantic duet. An ossified jazz flautist later joins in, only adding to the overall level of disturbance.
As long as listeners do not demand an atom of recognizable humanity in their jazz music, the compositions in these videos are frequently catchy and memorable. Fransman’s channel contains more innocuous content as well, however. A true lover and historian of jazz music, this Swedish enthusiast offers his viewers a few basic lessons in his aptly-named “Bebop For Noobs” series. The pilot of the instructional series memorably describes bebop founders Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie as “smug as fuck,” because they created a musical sub-genre of their own simply because they were bored with what everyone else was doing. While the grotesque animation of Fransman’s other work is missing, the narration is appropriately robotic here. “I guess the community for nightmare jazz is still pretty small,” Fransman admits via Twitter. “I seek to change that.”