by Remoy Philip
I just want to write about the way jazz music takes me places. I never had the inclination to play the music; I never dreamed of being the artist, but more of just being in the world of the art. The way the music has open spaces, the way it can carry the emotions, the rhythms open and yet very full. The music is transcendent and carries me away. I get lost in the voids. When my heart, be it empty or full, can find that void in the music, music without words and without goals, but just me lifted above and beyond the notes and the diction. The drum, goddamn, that beautiful rhythm made by those drums. Snare, High-hat, Kick-drum and that’s all you’ll ever need. Minimal, like the world I dream of.
I’m not a musician, nor do I hope of being one. People have told me to really appreciate jazz you must be an artisan with a melodic forte. Well, I am not of that talent, and maybe my value of appreciation is not of their liking, but I cannot dream of a world without jazz. I don’t remember the names nor do I cling to artists; certain songs do not do me more or less than another. I just need that beet. Trumpet, Piano, Bass, and there’s that drum. There it is, and echo. Do you hear it, the echo? In seconds it soars quickly and high, and then in an instant, it’s gone. Dropped out and left brooding over its next move.
I also love watching jazz artists play with one another. I distinctly remember a time in a bar in a city apart of a world where I was lost with another in the sound and picture of jazz. I could see the removed persona of the drummer while also noticing the total showman that was the trumpeter also we saw the self-involved over dramatic being behind the keys and of course there was the total cool of the man with the fingers walking up and down the neck with five strings. Those men, only four of them, musicians singularly, gathering together just to play. To let loose, given an idea, and then just let loose. Fast, faster, quick as in the time of a lifetime; song after song, and theme after theme. A jazz musicians eyes, at least in the moments of sport, are so telling of themselves. Their biographies written, their lives told, being completely illustrated through the penmanship of the eyes.
One day I will die, and I hope that I will continue to hear the jazz. I hope when I’m gone, the sounds and the rhythms and the melodies and the arrogance will continue to be heard. I hope I will never be far away from it or lest it be far from me. I’d like to think that when I’m gone, I will not be carried away by chariot nor cherubim, but in the sounds of the jazz I’ll drift away; softly, boldly, and be forever living through the void; through the echo.