Saturday, April 23, 2011

Random Jazz

The cat on alto here wailed. Sun came out in the park this afternoon of our reluctant spring. The quartet went into Girl from Ipanema. A woman in the background catches a football. Wonderfully NYC, wonderfully Village. Purely so. Reprieve however temporary eases the mind. A moment in the park, sun in the reluctant spring shining on your face as you sit on the bench and ponder how that same sun shone in this same reluctant spring in this park in this city centuries before and will shine in this same moment centuries from now, and that the very idea of continuum is what makes it distinct. But what makes this bright sun and blue sky in this moment only for you is this music now, the jazz. No one in the band was born here or even born in this hemisphere. English is their second language. Yet, utterly jazz fluent, chops as good as any you’ve heard. You forget about the simple joy of the sun and park and the listening to musicians play a pleasant melody and even how this jazz-centric arrangement transforms the familiar samba. You are thinking only about the sax solo. More feeling than thinking, actually. The sun is still shining, people walk by, she tosses the football back to her companion. The sky remains blue. Your mind is still eased. But that solo pierces through, then strips away everything else until you are aware of only the sound of the saxophone and the joy of anticipation then the joy of surprise when you hear what comes next. You helplessly surrender to your instinct to clap. About an hour – and a few cellphone conversations and non-terminal aggravations – later, you are on line at Starbucks and the original Girl from Ipanema comes through the speakers. The synchronicity makes you smile. You think maybe I should play the lottery. Then you remember the solo, realizing kismet transcends coincidence as everything is stripped away again for another second or two.

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