Dissertation on Jazz/Blues by b.james

musically, the boundaries of jazz and blues blur, while extant exponents of each continue
to define and distinguish the beauty and integrity of the forms as they evolve.
lyrically, i see jazz as interstellar communication; that which
distinguishes ourselves as communicators in the universe; it soars the
human spirit.blues, to me, is that which we have in common; the shadow on
the ground as we walk down the Highway 61 of our lives, on this earth, of
this earth, and in our hearts. it is all poetry and the more i seek to
define these things, the more futile it seems and the more distant i become
from their respective truth. Kerouac spoke to me in the language of jazz and
called it blues. Sleepy John Estes was the poetry of blues and i doubt would
have considered it anything other than the blues; although he may have
laughed and said "hmmmm.." at the thought of being considered a poet, while
considered by some to be the premiere poet in the vastness of the blues; but
even that diminishes the depth and breadth of the poetic form i know as the
blues and so many whose words bring understanding to us, most unknowingly,
every day. so what got me going off here was a reference to 'jazz/blues
poet'; and while we can marry or convolute the two,they remain the two. but
for our synthetic reasons we feel compelled to categorize things for a
perceptual peace of mind and revert to tribal instincts for our safety and
protection from that which may affect us in a way we do not want to be
affected. i contrast this with my own experience of being affected in some
of the most unlikely of times and places, in a poetic way, of course. so my
thought processes caused me to confront a fundamental truth of poetry:
either there are actually very few poets, those we respect and quote and
remember for their contribution to the dominant poetic pair-a-dimes; or are all
who would place word on page in search of their truth or truth for truth's
sake, or the natural facts, as a blues poet might describe, poets in our
own right? i subscribe to the latter and the remainder is a matter of taste
and degree.Longfellow puts our tribal nature in perspective this way: "All
that is best in the great poets of all countries, is not what is national
in them, but what is universal." i find meaning in the self-indulgent, even
if it is simple suffering, as it has been said that "you will find poetry
nowhere, unless you bring some with you." i find it everywhere

Copyright BG 1/28/02