Day 10 of Gwen Bell’s December blogging challenge: What album rocked your world in 09?
This year I got to see John McLaughlin and Chick Corea play together at Jazz at Lincoln Center, forming the group 5 Peace Band with Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, and Brian Blade. McLaughlin and Corea hadn't played together since Miles Davis' Bitches Brew back in 1970. They are masters and innovators whose contrasting compositions made for an exciting night.
Saxophonist Kenny Garret's playing blew the roof off of Lincoln Center, sending some subscription holders fleeing, while the rest of us talked in tongues as we rolled on the floor. (Not really, but almost.)
5 Peace Band is nominated for a Grammy in 2010. Eventually I'll check out the CD. Sometimes when I see live music that shakes me to my core I can't listen to anything recorded for awhile. For days after the show I just wanted silence and the memory of the performance.
I wrote the following poem for a friend I hadn't talked to in ages who would have loved to hear them play. I was thinking about the way we can be altered forever in an instant, while at the same time some fundamental part of us, the most sacred part, never changes. That's what the music brought up for me.
I must shoulder stones
to connect with this old friend.
The years form a cairn
between our doors.
So much has happened since even this morning.
I woke up vibrating still from the concert.
The union of sacred geometry
and raw divine love twining between masters,
spiraling from Fender to Steinway to alto sax
created a flying cathedral
that oscillated through the cosmos
on wings built from the heartwood
of an ancient forest.
My friend has a child I have not met,
though I imagine every moment spent with such a creature,
wise eyes starring at the undulating drapes
on the first warm night,
produces a cellular shift.
When we knew each other
we were full of dissonance
bouncing off of hard parallel surfaces
booming with echoes.
Now the liquid self
laughs at an absence
as timid as the flick of an eyelid.
He would know the sound
of that saxophone,
the Beloved round inside every note.