Long Live Jazz

The bass notes emerge, evenly spaced
in the stream of time, happy to be bouncing,
bubbling, carried along by
the pulse of “Invitation.”
But not just that, containing within themselves
a call to move forward,
to reveal progressively more
of the Why of things somehow,
as the musical line unfolds,
creates itself, spirals onward, like magic.

Underneath the solo, the bass helps create
a latticework of support, made from
steel strings and tender yearnings.
The notes of all the players seem to sparkle
with a quiet joy at being transformed
from mere musical possibilities
into real, living sounds, released into the sunshine
at the outdoor gig—a touch of paradise as a greater
whole emerges out of our separate parts.

Mirroring the gentle hills around us, the music
outlines the rising and falling of a different landscape—
one where anticipation and sorrow, dignity and longing
dot the countryside like trees­—the music being our window
into a whole world of emotions usually buried
under the weight of daily cares.

Later, our brother and benefactor tells it like it is,
full of righteous indignation
at a world gone mad, and we wonder
what the value of playing music is
against the weight of all that.
But perhaps the invisible strength
of what is born within these moments
of musical bliss is just what the world needs
to veer away from self-immolation—
showing us, beyond words,
that life is worth living
and worth working to preserve.
Long Live Jazz.

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