Sunday, March 21, 2010

for shirley scott (6)

for shirley scott

miss shirley, mambo asogwe
of the hammond b-3, oh how
u loved to preserve the rituals
& songs linking the spirits &
our people; blending in yr
m'bugi cauldron an aggressive,
deftly rhythmic attack steeped
in triplet related swing, intricate
bebop harmonies minus post-
coltrane modal voicings. with
bluesy melody lines undergirded
by a gospel worship chord or
two, to let the spirits flow.

u rocked us & hard bopped us,
shirley, scored our lives between
the commercials with jazz, crisp
but relaxed in tempo & full of
diverse spirits, like miles who
came clean in ’54, walkin’ in out
of a deep jones into the arms of
his shapeshifting muse. but u,
shirley, unsullied & singleminded,
fused exquisite harmonic conception
with funky lufuki sensibility, just
outside of mainstream jazz but
ever true to yr blue loas/muses.

©Joseph McNair;2010


  1. Joe, thanks for the teaching us:
    "outside of mainstream jazz but
    ever true to yr loas/muses."

  2. that's "blue loas/muses," Geoff and you are just to fast for this old man! Thank you!

  3. Thank you so much Joe for this beautiful tribute. Shirley Scott, the B3 Queen, is one of my all time favorites & you definitely immortalized her Spirit in your Poem!!!