Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Fabulous Dexter Gordon


was told as a child
Blacks had no worth,
Not a nickel's worth of dimes.
I believed that myth
'Til Dex rode in
With his ax
In double time.

horn was soarin',
The changes flyin',
His rhythm right on time;
My heart
Beat with the pleasure
Of new found pride,
His blood
Flowed through mine.

Took the chords
The keyboard played,
And danced around each note;
Then shuffled 'em
Like a deck of cards,
And didn't miss a stroke.

B minor 7 with flatted 5th,
a half diminished chord,
He substituted a lick in D,
Then really began to soar.

He tipped his hat
To Charlie Parker,
and quoted
Trane with Miles,
Then paid his homage to
Thelonious Monk,
In Charlie Rouse's style.

He took
a Scrapple From The Apple,
Then went to Billie's Bounce,
The rhythm section, now on fire,
But he didn't budge an ounce.

He just
dug right in
to shuffle again,
This time
A Royal Flush,
Then lingered a bit
Behind the beat,
Still smokin'
But in no rush.

Then he
doubled the time
just like this rhyme,
in fluid 16th notes,
Charlie and Lester,
“your baby boy, Dexter's,
on top of the
bebop you wrote."

like a banshee,
this prince of saxophone,
His ballads dripped of honey,
His Arpeggios were strong.

Callin' on his idles,
Ghost of Pres'
within in the isles,
smiling at his protege,
At the peak of this new style.

His tenor
Drenched of Blackness,
And all the things we are--
Of pain, and pleasure,
And creative greatness
Until his final bar.

Eric L. Wattree

Sunday, May 25, 2008

BLACK MAGIC--Miles Davis and John Coltrane--SO WHAT - LIVE


We knew him as Miles,
the Black Prince of style,
his nature fit jazz to a tee.
Laid back and cool,
a low threshold for fools,
he set the tone
of what a jazzman
should be.

Short on words,
and unperturbed, about
what the people thought;
frozen in time, drenched
in the sublime,
of the passion
his sweet horn
had wrought.

Solemn to the bone,
distant and torn,
even Trane could
scarcely get in;
I can still hear the tone
of that genius who mourned,
that precious note
that he couldn't
quite bend.

Eric L.Wattree

BLACK MAGIC--Sonny Stitt - Lover Man

Some of the greatest minds I’ve ever known held court while sitting on empty milk crates in the parking lot of ghetto liquor stores. At their feet I embraced the love of knowledge, and through their tutelage defined self-worth in my own terms.

These were the “Eulipians”—writers, poets, musicians, hustlers, and uncommon drunks—shade-tree philosophers, who contemplated the fungus between the toes of society. And without apology, these visionaries danced with reckless abandon, unfettered by formal inhibition, through the presumptuous speculation of the ages.

While these obscure intellectuals stood well outside the mainstream of academy, I watched with astonished delight as they and their students sang, scat, and scribed the thrust of their philosophy into the mainstream of human knowledge. And as one such student, I fully embrace and promote their creed, that knowledge is free, and thus, will transcend attempts to be contained through barriers of caste and privilege, leaving man's innate thirst for knowledge, free to someday overwhelm his lust for stupidity.

But words are cheap, so let me introduce you to sonny. Just sit back, and relax, and allow Sonny to bath you in the warmth of the Eulipian Sun.

Eric L. Wattree

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