And So Jazz Came To Be

By Michael L. Newell

In the bible of jazz, ragtime (with its syncopated, ragged rhythm
set the rules of the musical landscape that grew into jazz),
……..led to Dixieland (wild and wooly, and hot hot hot,
……..and brothers and sisters, that’s no jive, that is just
……..staying alive with crazy beats)
…………..which begat swing (which was no small thing
…………..making the off-beat central and making melody
…………..lure lovers onto dance floors, where music made
…………..love to them, and they made love to one another),
……..which brought forth bop (bop at the speed of sound,
……..cool bop, hard bop, bop that rocked harder than rockers rock,
……..bop that rediscovered how melody and rhythm could interrelate),
…………..thence came free jazz where all sound is possible, rules are
…………..negotiable, nothing is knowable, all is doable,
…………..freedom, freedom, all can be found and done, oh yeah,
…………..let the listeners catch up on their own, don’t stop and wait
…………..for them, let them take off the top of their heads and imbibe
…………..the music in great gulps and find the sense wherever
…………..or whatever it may be,
……..then fusion arrived with its wild marriage of jazz, rock, blues,
……..electronic experiments, melody cradled in rock guitars, drums
……..almighty and newly freed, basses and pianos set loose to blend
……..sounds and rhythms new to this world, trumpets and saxes
……..let music loose that reminded listeners of times past while charting
……..new and sometimes feral paths,
…………..and the future waits for the next unexpected paths to what
…………..jazz can be, will be, while never forgetting what it has been,
and thus jazz came to be, is, will be, ever and ever in the streets, clubs,
records, movies, and hearts of men and women uplifted and shifted
in what the world means to them, and we listen for what is new, and rejoice
in what has been and continues to be. Amen, brothers and sisters, Amen.

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Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad
Dear Black Child - Grace Storm Ad