Steve Varner on jazz bass

jazz poem 1

I will not tap my feet.
Though the rhythms and melodies you play
Conger up kicking off shoes and
Dancing barefoot in the grass,
I will not tap my feet.

Though my heart beats faster at the
Melodic buildup — as horn and keys
Latch together in the repetition of a theme,
Calling my heart and toes to a
Dance of thrill and amazement —
But no, I will not tap my feet.

I will not tap my feet, nor
Nod my head; though everything
In me is crying out for some kind of movement
To occur!
No, I will not tap my feet.

I will not tap my feet
When the guitar and sax drop out
To let bass and drums chase percussively
After each other in a playful, astoundingly
Structureless cadenza, filled with
Impulsive demands.
Even then, I will not tap my feet.

I will not tap my feet.
Though the pianist has spontaneously
Created a bit of magical funk

That was never previously inserted
In this “standard” of jazz stalwarts.
No, I will not tap my feet.

What’s this!
Did my head just nod a bit?
Unbidden, I can barely restrain myself
From rising straight to the dance floor,
For now, the whole ensemble is returning
To the original theme by some inaudible
Twist of jive and thrive.

Oh yes, I cannot just tap my feet:
I must move my head and spine and arms entwine,
Must move my torso, and more so
My feet.

 

~ by Stan Stewart
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