Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jazz Most Elusive

Eric Lloyd's "Jazz Most Elusive" reminds us of how linked jazz and performance are.  Some of our poems are, of course, inspired by LPs, CDs, and even YouTube videos, but the heart of jazz is live performance.  As Eric indicated when he submitted this poem, it was inspired by "a combination of experiences that I've had with live, contemporary music in an urban setting."

Jazz Most Elusive

Eager menagerians
Haphazardly located
Around a nondescript stage
Aglow with amber, smokey
Crepuscular purple light
Focused on four sharp figures
S-curved as music made them.

With ritualistic grace
Betraying deep devotion,
A motion mantric... tantric,
They obsessively coddled
Worn, weathered, leather cases
Unlatching, unravelling,
Adorning, purging, tuning,

Extending and arranging,
Well-crafted and well-polished,
Wood and metal masterworks
Of timber, texture and tone.
Time blurred, snapped, locked to locus.
The four of them assembled.
Dialectic imminent,

The air buzzed, hummed and convulsed.
The drummer sat at his set
Then checked the ergonomics --
Fixed the snare and the hi-hat,
Nodded to the bass player
Who gave a smile in return.
The bartender dimmed the lights.

The crowd juxtapositioned.
Without further commotion,
The cool coeval quartet
Expertly coaxed their lovers
Caressing warm expressions,
Quixotic emotations,
Wanton wending white spirals,

Fractalized black progressions,
A long writhing aggregate,
An evolving creation,
Twisting around the root note,
A dirty mind altering
Melee of dark seduction
Cascading the cortexes

Of the entranced listeners
Switching them on to active
Socratic participants --
Minds seduced and bedazzled,
Attuned to arcane chantings
Of prolific enchantments
Flowing from, to, dancing round,

Harmoniously converging
Then diverging
From the epicenter
Of that most precious
Elusive, sought after
Long lost,

Eric discovered at a young age that in order to write, one must live, and life is to embrace liberty in pursuit of ever fleeting happiness.  His opinion is that the writer through life must fill his or her soul with a collection of sensory experiences from which to draw through his or her command of language to convey his or her soul in relation to those experiences to ultimately connect with his or her audience.  To Eric, poems should represent a snapshot or snapshots in time of the long body of the poet in relation to his or her experiential travels.  Here is a link to Eric reciting the poem below:

To accompany Eric's poem, I am also posting links to The Fantastic Merlins, Jack DeJohnette, Sound on Survival, and Charlie Byrd's music.  (Eric had mentioned each of these artists in our correspondence.)

Here the Fantastic Merlins perform at the Black Dog Cafe in St. Paul, MN:

I have to include their "Cambodian Folk Song":

Jack DeJohnette plays live with Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and Dave Holland:

In these videos, he plays with Sonny Rollins and others:

Sound on Survival is live in Montreal:

We'll finish with some Charlie Byrd:

Enjoy!  Thank you for submitting your wonderful poems!

This album cover takes us into the fall.

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