I find jazz exceptionally beautiful driving in the dark wee hours of the morning. In its totality it’s greater than a clarinet driven composition of a miserably grey day of pelting rain.
I wholeheartedly relish desolate dark drives at these hours. These moments are soulful resurrections because at any other time, jazz can be bewildering busy like the day, and accompanied by others, it is taxing like a conversation with a stranger.
You desperately try to assemble a rhythm, find some thesis, a compatible spark that may connect to another. Not searching for anything enduring since, all great musical numbers have an end.
You simply wish to share perhaps a sublime moment of comfort and peace with a piece of god’s other art, a human, whose biorhythms sync effortlessly with you.
How that happened one late September Saturday evening at a Santa Monica pub, I will never know but it happened around sharing Mose Allison.
She knew what I was talking about and I felt the rhythm of our beat drive some improv into conversational places I’d only shared with my friend, Jackie White over cold San Miguel’s listening to Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Clarke in that comfortable, cold, dead dark countryside.
I never talk about Mose Allison, I thought, as I walked away to my car with Jeanette’s telephone number tucked in my pocket.
I hadn’t asked. Hell I’ve never asked. She’d felt the groove and offered to set up another gig because her best friend, she was playing sour notes. Our jam session interrupted.
I was seduced by our rhythm all the dark drive home. It was the right accompaniment to jam on another night. Yet, it betrayed memory.
The memory of how that seduction pacing like a ride cymbal in my head can abruptly end. It was once beating and squealing until I drove Jackie White that last night to pull an armed bar robbery.
He hit the road south as day broke and i lost my beat, as I turned course in the other direction.
Less ceremoniously and a decade later, this jazzy number ended abruptly with Jeanette as well.
I really never got to know her because after every subsequent gig, she became more acquainted with my bathroom floor, hugging my porcelain pedestal.
Though I wouldn’t leave them alone, I wasn’t jealous. I sat in the sink, drinking and jammed on about Chick Corea as he spun on my turntable.
But in the end; that, final day as I paid for some shitty Mexican meal on Santa Monica Boulevard for her and my roomie, I stepped into the parking lot to find them tongue wrestling. The musical klutz, my good friend, who was there at the pub, disinterested in Mose Allison and Jeanette diving in for a solo.
Day was breaking. It was the close to the night of the Hollywood Christmas Parade, a friend’s suicide in the day. I recoiled at the crescendo.
The glare; that, dissonance brought by coming light. The harshest of Light, reality. It ripped through that dreamy dark groove that I dig in the lonely, lovely sojourn of my life and all that jazz.