Today I’m in the mood for some jazz, Duke Ellington, Monk, Nina Simone and café con leche.
Reading about jazz musicians of the past and on the essence of jazz immortalized in the writing of James Baldwin (among others), I have the notion that this music is about sentiments and feelings buried deep inside that only jazz notes can communicate. It is a product of genius and tragedy.
I find so much beauty in and appreciate people who make music, people who are music, and people who live life as beats and melodies. Some people I’ve met are as troubled and tragic as Thelonious Monk but just as brilliant. In the past it has troubled me to think people can think and desire so differently than me, that their sense of purpose and creation is so different than my own. But like everyone, they make internal compromises in order to get by – metaphysically, philosophically, spiritually.
In order to survive – that is, to live the lives of their choosing, as drummers, as musicians, as challengers, artists, and performers – they come to a sort of agreement with themselves in order to turn and confront the world as they are, as they have chosen to be, intending to occupy as much space in the world, as they are. Sometimes the world decides you’re crazy or dangerous or stupid and does away with you.
But sometimes because you create a jazz album, a book or writing – conversation and enlightenment in all its forms – you become impossible to destroy. You transcend your fear of death, of destruction and termination – the fear of yourself, your vulnerability and temporality – through your power to create and inspire. Perhaps that is one outstanding reason I adore music.
It is a remnant of that amazing power of creation, a testament of sorts. Music from a time far gone, from a present very proximate and dynamic, and of a reassurance that this creative force that slumbers in many people, is very capable of influencing wonderful interpretations to inspire us all.
As with music, so it is with dancing, and with words, and with ideas, and with smiles, and with love.