Kind of Blue



Such a delicate, transitory melody –
a sketch, or, no, a Japanese sumi
ink painting. The jazz musician,
like his artist counterpart, has only
a few fine brush hairs, one long
fluid state to get the essence
of beast or fowl, mountain or tree
branch down on the parchment,
must not hesitate or lift his hand
in the execution of the cipher image
or the parchment will tear, the fabric
of the dream, the mood, the very
reason for the piece will be lost.
So with the blues, these modal changes
as Bill Evans first dips his fingers
in the keyboard stream, tickles the
ivory throats of the minnows that
are the first nine notes, three triads,
then the break out into a rhythmic figure
that ripples through the whole. Paul Chambers
leaning patiently over the big fat bass ripples,
his big hands, strong spatulate fingers
plucking first one string then another,
placing each note just so, hanging back
a great blue heron standing statuesque
above the notes, choosing each with
lightning speed as the trumpet and sax
croon and lift their supple throats
to bolt down the fish they’re fed and
rim shots come quick quick as rain
going pitter pat on the cymbal roof,
the whole pool shimmering, quivering
and the trumpet glissandos water strider
feet dancing on the surface tension
walking right out there on new waters
graceful and fleeting as a mayfly
who in twenty-four short hours
will have played out the quiet drama
of its entire life. Such grace, such confidence
you knew you had to know that each take
would be the last, each track the imprint
of a behemoth in wax, a fossil record
of the passing of a wondrous beast
that would have its way with you
and carry you by the scruff of your neck
like some errant cub that had once again
broken away from the rest of the pride
made great strides for such plush feet.



"So What," "Freddie Freeloader," "Blue
in Green," "All Blues," & "Flamenco Sketches" –
five tunes, five sunshine sketches,
five birds on the telephone wires,
five shots that would hold the silence
of a feather falling slowly ever after
and fix it like a fossil in wax forever
and change the very clay you stepped in.


Richard Stevenson's Miles Davis long poem sequence
Version 1.0  © 1997
Presented: September 10, 1997
HTML Coding: professional informatics

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