When the needle touches
the wax that will sing
the collected prayers
of A Love Supreme, it’s
When the needle touches
“How dare you play it like that!”
I look up from my sight-reading piece, certain I had correctly executed all of the rhythms and notes, all of the articulations and embellishments. My questioning eyes found a passionate face, lined with wrinkles that were now quivering in angst.
“I don’t care if you play a couple wrong notes here and there, but to play it so flat like that… so dull… that is inexcusable.”
“Play it again.”
I started again, trying to sense the life behind the ink, and I felt like the blind fool who
The carpenter (whose hands have grown
too large for the twenty house town
he was born in) sticks out his thumb
and catches a jet to Los Angeles where
he drowns off the Santa Monica beach trying
to ride a wave to beautiful downtown Burbank.
His sister stays home and marries
the county’s star high school running back
who turns into the […] Continue reading »
As his website reminds us, the late Yusef Lateef was “universally acknowledged as one of the greatest masters and innovators in the African American tradition of autophysiopsychic music – that which comes from one’s spiritual, physical and emotional self.” He defined music as “a medium through which we express our feelings of love, sorrow, and joy.”
Lateef, who died in 2013, was a virtuoso musician on a multitude of international instruments
Here in this place
forces are in motion.
Truth is in the notation.
Beauty in improvisation.
Forward, forward, forward
speak the drums
to our spirituality.
The ritual function of
Everyone is afraid to knock on the door when they hear the trumpet behind it. A closed door is like an On Air sign or a red light outside a dark room. Still, they have to talk to him. Sonny is nowhere to be found. And Thibodeau is too busy
You are amused
by my passion
Their drivers know
where we are
We don’t need a
“Who,” you ask.
“Chris Connor,” I repeat.
“Oh, sure, right,” you say
(with little enthusiasm.)
“You have to listen, really listen,” I say.
“O.K.” (an acquiescence).
I carefully place the vinyl record
on the Rek-O-Kut turntable.
Jacko the Jazzman, office hack,
computer screen by day. At nights
he roams the pubs and village halls,
blowing his sax’s rise and fall.
Heads up to all interested short fiction writers…The deadline for submitting your story for consideration in our 48th Short Fiction Contest is May 31. Click on the “Continue Reading” link for full details.