Wednesday, March 17, 2010

for marylou williams (1)

for marylou williams

jamming with mckinney's cotton pickers at harlem's
rhythm club, u caught the eye of no less than satchmo.
he heard u out, then picked yr skinny fifteen year old
butt up & kissed you. the rest is unrevisionist
herstory. who’d a thought that mary elfrieda scruggs
from buttermilk-bottom, the little piano girl
smuggled into pittsburg’s juke joints & gambling houses
under her stepdaddy’s overcoat & who played for
pittsburg’s sporting man coin, would not only go on to
write for goodman, dorsey & lunceford, play with the duke
but mentor the likes of diz & monk; pass bebop thru
her birth canal, all the time swinging, writing as she
played, showing us what real jazz comping was all about.

©Joseph McNair;2010

1 comment:

  1. So, women have done more in jazz than just sing. this is good to know. Excuse my sarcasm. The poem is great