Scarlet Jewels: 60s Jazz Activists - Words for Now!
The NewsLog of Julie Solheim-Roe
 60s Jazz Activists - Words for Now!2 comments
picture 2003-03-31 01:57, by Julie Solheim-Roe

A poem by Rocky Delaplaine
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.

Blessed are the poets for they shall be called the unacknowledged legislators of the land.

Blessed are the jazz makers for they shall be called God's
trumpeters, blasting B natural, God's keyboard players, tickling high C on the ivories, God's drummers the healers, taking measure of our pulse, and God's bass players wailing B flat through the guts of a cat.

Blessed are Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald for they shall be called God's apostles, God's diplomats, and God's translators.

And their children, and their children's children will grow strong and mulitply and spread the gospel of jazzology over all the earth.

And when men hear jazz they will put down their swords, and pick up their saxophones.

And lovers and brothers, and nations that were fighting will tap their toes, and forget their quarrel. Blessed are the jazz makers for their ears are tuned to frequencies the rest of us can't hear and their vocal chords are a harmonic convergence and their music is played in God's juke joint and on God's radio station, and their music is God's radio station.

Blessed are the jazz makers for they carry the memory of mother Africa in their cells and sing her praises.

Blessed are the jazz makers for they bear the burden of the slave and the hope of redemption for the slave holder.

Blessed are the jazz makers for theirs is the voice of God whispering, laughing, sobbing, screaming, Wake up, take in my breath, love your body and the body of all things, listen to each other, work together, work it out, arise.

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1 Apr 2003 @ 11:40 by jazzolog : Jazz Breath
Rocky certainly has her chops together about jazz makers and all that they can give to us. Unheralded and unappreciated so often here in the States, players really have to scuffle to hold a roof over their heads and put bread on the table. Alas, during the 1960s referenced here, jazz literally came apart, often getting too involved in civil rights, spiritual paths, and plugging in to rock to maintain its real integrity. Jazz records from the '60s on are a hit-or-miss business, and you have to know what you're looking for to find the good ones. Dreaded fusion started up then...and from there it was only a slip on the top stair to head inevitably down to smoooth jazz and the dreary soprano saxophones over an electronic mix (O Sidney Bechet & Johnny Hodges, who'd a thunk it?). The voice of God in jazz ain't what it used to be in the recordings of the 1920s, '30s, '40s, and even the 1950s. But you still hear it sometimes...and maybe because that sound is so increasingly scarce, when you do, it's electrifying, joyous, revelatory: a blaze of truth we all are waiting for!  

3 Apr 2003 @ 17:07 by jewel : thank you
... very much for this info. I have been 'taught' it before from my brothers who were there, but as I was born in 1966 (fire horse-smile) I am 'encoded' with the energy from THAT revoltuion, but didn't experience it intellectually or artistically.

I love jazz... and true pure expressionaire's.... Paris Pari' here I come.  

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