Rhythm and pattern easily obscured, it’s what you feel,
not what is heard. Polyphonic syncopation, bass line
holds the inspiration well before anticipation, a rush of melody pushes
to the fore you hear it again, but never have before.
Rim shot crack
the beat is burning, and falls
like ash. It marches and it swings,
like laughter, it is tears.
Emotionally charged, by no means irreverent, it suddenly switches gears.
History more than the future, a time though, never passed.
As definite as prayer,
cool as a sweaty glass. Full moon rising
the music lives on
the player only dies.
Straight up from the psyche, deep down in the core, no matter the decade,
more than less though less is more. Solo piano
full of vigor the notes interpret all you have known.
Time signature changes, on a dime, or rolled up bill, the rhythm method,
it comes from the gut
no matter how it is played or how it is cut. Free form.
It is life, it is living, it is solid, it is forgiving. As simple or as complex as a saxophone riff,
no four-chord progressions. Never boring. Never stiff.
Wholly original, as much as it is copied, and studied, sweated over, with notes cast asunder, improvisation, muddied by emotion
perpetual motion, realization, over and under.
Though practiced it is free, it is glossy, and messed up, so dirty it is clean.
Quietly you dream, completely obsessed. A blue note cries out
and all the others,
calmer, smoother sounds, longer linear melodic lines, you don’t listen as much
as you go for a ride. Off the charts,
it’s art and it’s plastered with culture,
a contradiction not comprehensible, it is not responsible
should you dream a life totally possessed.
More about attitude than instrument of choice, the minor keys and major chords create it’s own noise. Structured silence played oh-so-slow in parts of deep reflection, blood rushing through the vein, it steps back then it rises up, triumphantly, again. Again
and again, and again.
Only a genre is to say night is just darkness, or a day is but a year,
it goes down easy with dinner, or a six pack of beer, seedy downtown club
or a scratchy vinyl disc
it comes with a purpose, arrives full of risk. It nourishes the soul from a rhythm, whatever it has, whatever it be
we should all live like jazz.
© 2016 j.g. lewis