(note: the colors are links ... follow them for a sound journey.)
The journey begins with Esperanza Spalding.
Believe me, when you lay eyes on that beautiful afro, you will follow her anywhere. Especially into horns and bass and radio tubing. But when you find yourself weeping when she sings, "Think of all the strength you have in you / From the blood you carry within you / Ancient men, powerful men / Built us a civilization ..." you know you have arrived.
You stand up and dance on your heels, on your toes, and pinwheel yourself to the point of dizzy, and when you fall over and hit the warmth of sheets you curl your toes into the carpet and close your eyes and picture yourself floating higher than blues notes.
You sit up and gaze at your closet for almost an hour and wonder what to wear to make yourself feel pretty today. And in that quiet time when the screen of your electronic portal into the wider world goes blacker than your skin and your eyes, you catch a glimpse of wilding hair and waking eyes and realize you're halfway there already. You can dream yourself to Beautiful with your eyes open.
You start to imagine what life will be like when you're thirty. Or forty. But when you gaze into the crows feet at the corner of your aging eyes and see reflected in them a glimpse of a child who must have been spit out of your own mouth you pinwheel back and feel your toes curling back into the carpet because it's the only place, in this nation, for your to feel grounded.
You ponder the life of your socks. You blow a kiss to your red shoes. You apologize to your under-appreciated jeans. You undress a cup of water with your eyes. You kiss it into your stomach.
You begin to long for an education. So you wander the web and find the discussion of Shakespeare's real accent. You want it to be cockney. No matter what the recordings say, you know it will be cockney. You make it cockney. All up in your brain is cockney. You giggle into your pillow because when the world catches you laughing to yourself it always takes a bite out of you.
You realize a bit of spring is creeping into your veins and pooling on your forehead. You will taste the tips of your thumb and forefinger and confirm that, yes, it has infiltrated your blood. Spring has never been so salty sweet. It tastes like jazz.
Esperanza sings that it is the song of your people. And it's true. It's right there. In your blood. If you could you would gather it in your hands.
But you can't.
So you'll write it down.
|Esperanza Spalding: Radio Music Society (2012)|