Thursday, December 23, 2010

At the piano bar

We sat at a piano bar last night listening to an old master play. Within seconds I was mesmerized back into memories of Paul at the piano. This man played the way Paul had played, and he played the same tunes. All the standards with jazz improvisations that showed real music genius.

Early on Paul was told to get The Book – a compendium of all the songs a musician needs to learn if he/she wanted to be hired to play gigs at a bar. And sure enough Paul got the book and learned the tunes in it. I remember how he meticulously kept a list of the tunes he knew. He was always adding to the list.

Another thing that reminded me of Paul was the way the man sat – close into the keys with his head leaning way down as he played. Maybe that’s the way all jazzmen play.

Last night that old musician played jazz piano to perfection. So perfectly it made me cry.

My Jazzman

My jazzman                                                                       
beat it out
on the mighty eighty-eights,
played those riffs,
tapped his feet
bent his head
down to the keys,
felt those sounds
on his fingertips.
Yeah, he was a hot man
on those eighty-eights.

But all too soon
his bag grew dark.
He went down,
deep down.
My jazzman
played the blues,
lost that spark,
closed the lid.
And, yeah, you got it right,
quit the scene.
laid himself down
in that bone yard
for the big sleep.
Yeah, for the really big sleep.

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