imagine the smooth mood

mid tempo

mad tempo

lilting brass

lifting brass

waltzing basslines

walking basslines

of jazz


the spit in the eye

of beethoven and bach

who swung like dead monkeys

with their curly wigs drenched in sweat

clinging to their heads like

great grey parasites

leeching out swelling arpeggios

those tumors entangled in the deaf veins

of their venomous hearts

their inspirations turned perspiration

their batons raised in rigid salutes

to long forgotten flags

their operatic epics dismantled

by the repetitive swing of that kinetic joy

called jazz, the swingin’ hope of the everyman

the sex in the eye of a flapper

the buzz in her champagne glass

the samples for a tribe called quest

suitable for q-tip and phife to rap over

and suitable for black suits and shiny toe-tapping

as well as blue collars and dancing like mad

hand in hand with unrequited love

and unfulfilled lust

across scratched abandoned coffeeshop floors

and palatial gatsby-parties alike!


a disheveled golden armory of brass weapons

and music on their stands with whole musical stanzas still blank

still unwritten

scales and rhythms waiting to be jammed together on blind speed dates

that either end in one night stands or slaps to the face

every dalliance a spectacle on a billionaire’s scale

every offbeat slapped on the drum a joke


with the punchline being a sax punching thru with a solo

perfect, picturesque, mellifluous

the perfect girl whose face you’re too drunk to remember

the quick glimpse of shangri-la

amongst the stupid seraphim and flat-footed demons

that haunt a world too scared to dance


then a trombone, insulted by his lack of involvement

like tarzan on a vine

swings through the silver screen of rhythmic accompaniment

stealing the show with a grease-laden combed-over lick

the lip-burning madness of a dirty glissando


and above it all

a conductor with a frenzied look

guiding the guitar with a grey-haired stare

shooting a glare at the lead trumpet

as his horn bleeds with the highest notes

lodged in the unreachable golden heavens

torn from the throats of angels and brought to earth

where they bloody well belong


it won’t be long before they switch styles

take a slow song or a ballad or mallet ensemble

replace it with a wild madman’s toe-tappin’ thunder

like a poet goin’ from beat to verse

they’re versatile

with no shortage of swagger or style

well-dressed to impress upon the audience

the incredible importance

of a musical arrangement

when it’s paired with a poet and his pen

when teeth are bared, stanzas bend

every artist’s gotta stand behind a horn or pen


even when dancing to Jazz!

screechin' like bagpipes, shit so bright

that you've gotta wear shades

cut away shape your rhythm

light em up then burn with em

plight of the hornplayer

ya play so many notes so fast

get a ring of fire on your lips

tongue can't help but twitch

when the notes are so far outta reach

still it'd be unlike jazz if it wasn't

mutable musical offbeat half-cocked

served with cocktails

and beat dropped behind beatniks

a trombone like a mace to the face

blackjackin' order upside the head

like a one night stand on a drum head

back to the trumpet

because like him

I got a lesson

back to the tribe called quest

yeah them what can I say, they're the best

but greatest part of that shit

is that jazz in it

it's not just funkadelic

it's a vehicle for rhymes

an alibi for crimes

an excuse to go out of dress code at least some of time

cause even if we all dress the best and wear vests and bow ties

That which we write, that which is right

Is offbeat, accidental, haphazard, patched together

With spit and prayer and graduation frenzy


it’s jazz breaking through the barriers of race and class

first to last, liberating tracklists, kicking ass

So go ahead and ask yourself,

where would you be without the discordant madness of jazz?



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