Wednesday, May 12, 2010

for bennie carter (11)

for bennie carter
(1907 -2003)

the only musician to have recorded in eight
different decades, yr life, a symphony in riffs
pouring out of yr trumpet, out of yr alto, out
yr head & captured on vinyl, on tape, on compact
disc living & playing thru’ yr legend making,
writing it in the tales yr music told. yr rites of
passage & the sheparding process where those at a
higher level of understanding guided u to
& thru’ a greater exposure to the music. rex
stewart, sidney bechet, fatha hines, fats waller,
willie the lion smith, james p. johnson & the duke
transferred their powers to u, caused a change in yr
existential condition; freed u from profane time.

freed u to recapitulate the history of
the music that thru this recapitulation u
might sanctify the music anew, reveal its deep
meanings to the new generations, help them own &
assume the responsibility of mystical
vocation. u took time to befriend & mentor miles
when he had no friends; to mentor q when like u, he
wanted to write scores for film, to be there for j.j.
johnson, art pepper & max roach as they each increased
in stature & in favor. & u also took time
to teach yr alto to sing. yr signature sound was
smooth as silk, flowing like a lazy river that might
race like a rapid or be still like a honeyed pool.

© Joseph McNair; 2010

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