Under and Above Village Influence (Oh Yeah)
By ice rivers
I've been digging some jazz lately on record, on tube, on Spotify and in person.
I got my first taste of jazz in Greenwich Village in the sixties where I saw Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, Wes Montgomery and Jimmy Smith perform at different times. Yeah.
My buddy and I used to say that it was good jazz when we could say "oh yeah" at any time during the rendition of whatever that whoever was jammin' and those two words would fit in perfectly.
The best "oh yeahs" came when our eyes were closed and when we opened them, we noticed that the musicians eyes were also closed as they escaped into the groove. I knew that they were getting even higher from the music than I was and I envied that elevation.
For many years, I've wanted to write like that, so goddamned high that I don't even know where I am because I am nowhere and everywhere at the same time but undeniably HERE from what I HEAR in the music that surrounds, comforts and challenges me and the words/notes that somehow emerge and the moods they reveal and the lessons they teach without trying to teach.
I can't quite get there and part of the reason is that after all these years, I still don't know how to type. I went to college in the sixties when college was more or less a typing contest. I was a shitty typer than and I'm not much better now except now we don't have to fiddle with whiteout and typeovers and tearing typing paper ouf the typewriter and throwing it into the trash can and lighting another cigarette and starting all over again on a new piece of typing paper that might live for ten minutes before being balled up and thrown into the same garbage pail as all the others while the clock on the wall ticked away the hours and minutes until deadline and the goddamned thing was through and you're still kinda drunk etc oh yeah.
We produced a lot of typists in the sixties before God invented word processing.
See, if you're as good with a keyboard as Gerry Mulligan was good with his sax, you don't have to look at the keys at all. You can forget about them, yeah. You know where everything is and that includes the vibe that you're laying down and you don't even have to see it until you're done with it and then it stands as proof that you were away for a little while. Technique, imagination and resilience delivered via inspiration right now
The Force is with you yeah. You're feeelin' it, ya feel me?
No need for garbage pails or fucking white-out. The proof is on the screen. Hit save. Print it out or publish it. You were there baby, you were there but you did the whole thing looking at the keys and looking at your fingers and God knows there's another realm above and beyond, the order of pecking. Yeah, you're finger lookin' good but that ain't good enough....not free enough....not invisible enough. Too much gravy not enough train.
I want to get that high place someday. And take y'all with me. Today was close.