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|| Jazz Note ||.mp3





"The point must be clear by now: that
it is repetition, modified in one way
or another, that gives poetry its
musical qualities, because repetition
is so essential to music itself."
–Leonard Bernstein


The trades up, those long cool winds across
the Pacific, as Ramsey Lewis's set starts
here in the Waikiki Shell. Repetition compulsions.
A retarded adult girl in front of me, moves
the seat next to her back and forth, back and
forth, my own repetition compulsions, form in writing
and form in music, even improvisatory free jazz,
requires resolution of sets, of anticipations,
Mailer's story of the man touching the doorknob
again before leaving the house in the morning
to feel the energy later through the metal
on the subway, repetitive
touch compulsion, the spirit in the steel, animism
in the modern world, and then the adult girl
the woman moves again, moves the seat next to her
back and forth and looks around a bit, maybe
she's not so retarded, not severely, her
movements certainly not fine, not exact
not apparently appropriate, the seat moving
back and forth, looking about in particular
blankness in her face, low affect the docs
call it, a blankness denser than the average
blankness on the average face on any dull
and blank and average day. Day after impenetrable
day, here just off Waikiki as the trades flare
cool Pacific evening back, hearing
Ramsey Lewis playing pure jazz again

–Tony Quagliano