The other day
I was kind of lowriding down the street,
feeling about as cool as a 74 year old
could ever hope to be,
listening to some sounds
on Radio Jazz 88.3.
Ramsey Lewis, more specifically,
running his fingers over a keyboard,
as per usual,
ever so funkily,
with a spacey
other world type vibe,
Minnie Riperton’s voice,
out of the music
like birds lifting towards the sky’s
causing my head to move side to side,
stirring up mellow emotions
on my insides –
Can’t even talk about it
without heaving a sigh
cuz Jazz gets to me,
gets in my bones,
in the creases of my being –
like a barnacle on a whale,
like the wind that makes a boat sail,
like you would feel hearing two days into a life sentence
that you were free to leave the jail
and on top of that
you had a million dollar check in the mail
and everything you ever wanted in life
was both wholesale
and on sale
with free delivery
Don’t get me started
cuz I can wail!
Ramsey and Minnie were laying it down,
and the sounds of their artistry
weaved around and through me
touching and arousing my spiritual energy,
and as I savored the hold
their music had on my soul,
Radio Jazz 88.3
began copping a plea
for some do-re-mi
so they could keep on being a reality.
And that has always kind of baffled me
because it seems to me
that supporting Jazz
should come naturally
to an American
with what Jazz
means to our society.
Jazz is in the DNA
of the very fabric of the USA.
And everyday, all day,
tells the stories
that make up our humanity, musically,
reminding us that without Jazz
we have no past
and without Jazz
we have no music that encompasses
all the genres that exist
in some way
as it is no exaggeration to say:
the classics have been forever infused with Jazz
like Brubeck’s contrasts
in rhythms, meters and tonalities,
that embody all the elements of the symphonies
that tease our sensibilities;
jazz weaves itself
into all the other music’s intricacies,
transforming complicated compositions
into simple delicacies
giving them a sense of experimental wonder
and improvised ease,
Coltrane pioneering the depth
of music’s diversities,
playing lavishly with harmonies
always seeking what could be new;
he and Miles doing their thing way before
the stirring of the bitches brew,
and hard bop
and Hey Ba Ba Ree Bop
long before but leading up to
Pop, R & B and rock and Hip-Hop;
taking standards of country and honky tonk
and painting them with the many hues of funk,
all descendants of Jelly Roll,
and Dizzy and Duke and Monk.
You got all kinds of Jazz:
New Orleans and Dixie Land
and Ragtime Jazz,
with all that Razz Ma Tazz,
Swinging Big Band Jazz,
Kansas City Jazz,
West Coast Jazz,
Cool Jazz and Smooth Jazz,
Soul Jazz and Urban Jazz,
Avante garde and Punk Jazz,
Latin Jazz and Afro-Cuban Jazz,
Free Jazz and Acid Jazz and Ethno Jazz,
Jazz that makes you question,
Jazz that will take you to task.
Jazz Rap, Jazz Funk, Jazz Punk, Jazz Fusion.
Jazz that creates the aura of an illusion.
Jazz that induces confusion.
Jazz with no known conclusion.
And since Jazz is all about inclusion
and not caught all up in the pollution
that oozes from human’s intrusions
into unloving solutions
to the lack of harmony,
it sets the tone for the way the world could be.
Ain’t it sad such thinking is a fantasy?
But rhapsodizing about how “Jazz is all that”
does not, in the least, erase the fact
that to continue to make an impact
on our lives,
to stay healthy and alive
Jazz 88.3 needs some tithes,
some MONEY –
and I guess this run of words from me
is my little way of helping them cop that plea.
So give them a call at 388-3743.
You’ll be doing something Jazzy for society.