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The Six Pack: Pairing Summer Jazz And Beer

Charles Mingus getting cozy with a Verdi Imperial Stout. (And, yes, this is an "unauthorized" copy of <em><em>Mexican M</em>oods</em>. Sorry, Sue Mingus, it was a gift.)
Lars Gotrich
/
NPR
Charles Mingus getting cozy with a Verdi Imperial Stout. (And, yes, this is an "unauthorized" copy of Mexican Moods. Sorry, Sue Mingus, it was a gift.)

On porches everywhere this summer, people are soaking up the sticky heat with beer in hand and music in the background. Jazz and beer are natural companions, but no one wants to mix the two inappropriately. So I approached the Washington City Paper's "Beerspotter," Orr Shtuhl, to pair bottles with Charles Mingus, Sun Ra and more.

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Shtuhl and I picked up a selection of delectable, summery beers. Back on my front porch with two willing participants (thanks, Mark and Kelly), I would describe the artist and the song we were about to hear, play it and then ask The Beerspotter to pair the song with a beer based on its attitude, its backstory and its notes (and, yes, that does work both ways). Three hours later, we matched up six impeccable pairings.

So here it is: a jazz six pack for porches and turntables everywhere. But there's no reason not to make it 12 or 24, so tell us in the comments below what you like to drink while spinning jazz records. Non-alcoholic options are, of course, more than welcome.

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