I was sitting in Dunbar Fine Creole Food Restaurant on Feret Street Uptown New Orleans at aJazz Brunch back in early 2001 totally mesmerized with the sounds of the musicians performing. I was sitting at a solitary table for one right up at the band as it was the only space left. Dunbar was a favorite place to dine once a week as they had a killer gumbo on Friday's that was my weekly treat.
When they announced they were going to have a jazz brunch on Sunday's I was game. Good food and good music? How could you lose?
While enjoying my meal, I suddendly notice something that I had not paid attention before as how caught up in the music these fine muscians were. The it hit me.. I wondered what was going on in their heads and music being one of the few arenas that men seem to allow themselves full reign over their emotions. Then the words starting spilling over napkin after napkin until what you see below came into being.
The quilt followed.
That happens sometimes for me the words come first then the visual. Sometimes its a flash of an image
It is still after all this time one of the largest quilts I ever made and is a tribute not only to the men that day, but to all the musicans in my family. I did not inherit the gene to play a musical instruments as my siblings did but I am playing a different melody.
Sounds of the Men ©01
Tonight I ate up the blues...
Belly up bass.
That you tickled and cajoled.
Issuing a rumbling thunderous groove.
Lingering cadence under hooded shadowed eyes.
Off in a place...
Goatee half-smile swirling lemon drops off your face.
Saffron tinged wails flecked lazily.
Suffused pushing sprinkles of heavenly notes.
Brushing upward past aromatic clouds
Toward boundless galaxies of stars,
shining in applause for you!
Glistening huge moon shouting...
"Bravo, bravo, bellisimo, bravo!"
Belly filled high steppin' trumpet.
"Tonight as I ate up jazz..."
Seasoned with salsa rhythms.
Mighty, mighty joy-full-ness.
Snares brushed lightly.
Bronzed hands with an affinity to river deep promises.
Head just a'boppin"
(Go 'head! Go 'head)!
"Look at me...
I'm as happy...."
Take me to the bridges of sparkling waterfalls.
"Tonight I ate up lavender stained ribbons of husky melodic blues..."
Tendered jazz from champagne fingers.
Poignantly soothing ebonies and ivories,
just raising Cain!
Coaxing sugared sweetness in your harmonies.
"What are you shielding behind shaded eyes?
"Tonight as I ate up the jazz..."
In candlelit, twilight hours.
In a secluded vista.
Surrendering to rainforest greens...
The sweetest thing!
"Have some blackberry jam & wine...
If you please".
As I glide over to savannah plains,
to a place they call Smokey Mokes.
I do declare!
When you smile.
So caught up in your own aria...
Pregnant with a covenant.
Luxuriating, basking in...
By the light of the moon...
Fusing ripples of waves and waves and waves of rhythms.
"Tonight as I ate up the blues, tangled threads in jazz..."
The sounds of the men
Safe harbors, secured refuge.
Presenting yourself with the gift...
Giving yourself permission to speak...
and speaking it well,
I do declare!
Profess, I must ...
As I am enthralled...
This spectacle of delights.
While I gorge on the rhythm and muse.
Look at me...
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