“Chet Baker,” by Barbara Freeman
The Jazz Singer
Looking over some old tapes.
Is that really me on the stage?
The Peoria boys jazzing away behind,
performing for a village hall audience.
A monthly gig that, for a short while,
takes them back to the time when…
Sharing a joke with the trumpeter in a banjo break,
Then sliding into my next verse on the drum cue.
Locking eyes with the audience,
telling each one that I’m singing just for them.
Willing the part time pianist not to change the key again
in the middle of my lines.
Throw in an arse wiggle for the groupies near the stage.
Fashionably dressed for the decade,
just not this decade.
We are a long way from
Dr Jazz and his cocaine pick me ups.
From booze runs across the border
and prohibition violence.
From the raw, dripping sex
when Momma got a brand new bag.
And the rolling link brings me back into focus.
We’re sounding good and going for an extra verse.
(Easier to do for the musicians than the singer).
I’ve got a bar to decide whether to repeat or to improvise.
I’ll go for the repeat.
Familiarity is a good note to end on.
About John Brydon
John Brydon was born and brought up in London, England, though is ancestry is a mix of Border Celt and ‘Silly’ Suffolk. His interests include Anything and Everything. Visit his poetry blog.