Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree
It was listening to this big-city blues drenched in the language of jazz as a kid, that initially turned the lights on in my head. It was while listening to people like Bird, Miles, Trane, Jackie McLean, Dexter Gordon, and the other denizens of the jazz culture, that it became clear to me that a people who could produce this kind of excellence could do anything. I then began to explore the claim that we hadn’t, and the resulting knowledge - which I'm still accumulating - has served to broaden both my consciousness, and my horizons.
So, yes, I always instill the essence of bebop into my prose, because as I see it, that’s who we are. Our consciousness is the music of our minds, so going through life trying to play Mozart, or a variation thereof, is a gross waste of time. It’s just not us, and we will never achieve our full potential as a people by playing someone else’s tune. We’ve got to stick to a slow and funky Blues, because that's what we know - and that’s who we are.
Now, about Jackie:
He stood all alone, with that bittersweet tone, owing nobody, only himself.
With his furious attack he could take you back to the beauty of Yardbird’s song,
but that solemn moan made it all his own, as burning passion flowed
lush from his horn. Hearing "Love and Hate" made Jazz my fate, joyous anguish
dripped blue from his song. He both smiled and cried and dug deep-down inside,
until the innocence of my childhood was gone.
He took me to a place that had no face, I was so young when I heard his sweet call,
but he parted the fog and in no time at all, a child of bebop sprung fully enthralled.
As I heard this new sound, and embraced the profound, childish eyes now saw as a man; I stood totally perplexed, but I couldn’t step back, from the hunger of my mind to expand.
I saw Charlie and Lester, and a smiling young Dexter, as I peered into Jackie’s sweet horn; it was a place that I knew, though I’d never been to, but a place that I now call my home.
Buster, let me hear you strut, - Da doom da doom doom da da da doom doom doom . . . Now, take us on outta here, Sarah.
Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)