Lost and Found in Jazz Land

by Lawrence LaVerdure

The sax slides over the rough ground
Laid down by the tombadoras player
With his white painted fingernails.
His tattooed bicep flexes to the
Dancing rhythm. His hands sometimes
A blur sometimes suspended like happy
Hammers over the taut drawn leather.

The sax bounces up a staccato ladder
Wobbling there like an acrobat bending
And balancing and then descends
In an exquisite series of triplets
Back flipping and landing
With liquid grace. Suddenly
The trumpet trills while lightly
The piano races over
A multitude of rounded notes like
The gurgling of a merry mountain stream.

The music is blown away by the breeze
It’s all jumbled together like a
Wrestling match twix notes and rhythm
Fluid and windy, scatting and scattering

Thumb, Thumb, Thumb sling
Cheri, cheri chew bossa,
Thumb, Thumb, Thumb sling
Cheri cheri chew bossa
Tweet tweet twang

The notes all slip out but the jazzmen
Grab their tails and bend ‘em,
Stretch’em and clip’em into the wild beating chaos

The silky sax waxes the notes with
A sexy oil that’s wet, wooly and undulating.
Crisp tweets tinkle from the heights
The trumpet has left the ground
That the bass has burrowed under.
The grass quivers with subterranean
Tremblors and rhythm’s felt in your soles.

The sax floats by on a raft of groove
Rising and falling on the swells of a strong wind.

A crowd of chords has gathered
In a struggle at the top of the stairs
Then someone slips and they all
Come tumbling down and land
With a crash that dissolves into a
Drum soliloquy and the world turns
And the wind dies away.

The piano prances quietly toward the
Caribbean and suddenly the Congas
Announce the arrival of sultry weather
The steamy brown notes pulse up the
Beach like a talented millipede with the
Sand puffing in synch with the booming
Bass while tiny piercing squeaks escape
From the vicinity of the horn

The long sinuous smoke slides from the sax dispenser
and slips over the heads bobbin and bouncing to the hot beat
dancing away from the drum and bass like a carefree couple
shimmering in silk as they spin in the shadows and jump
Suddenly into the light.

The piano man’s fingers float over the keys,
bouncing out chords, dicing a melody and
pasting it back together again,
decorating the harmony with a sudden
tsunami of sound.

The seats are rocking, the crowd is swaying and
grooving and clapping their hands. The rocks in the cliff
behind the stage are limbering up and tapping their feet.
The whole world is gyrating and reevaluating concerns and
worries and then we’re all on our feet yelping and swaying and
praying for just one more tune to take us away to

Private Collection

Lawrence LaVerdure's picture

Born and raised in a small rural town in Massachusetts in 1949, one of twelve children in a French-Catholic family. My father fancied himself a great thespian and would regale his children with outrageously hammed-up performances of ballads and poems. The seed was planted and I regaled my own children with the same and this eventually turned into writing new material. Currently live and write in the Front Range of Colorado where I read stories for my granddaughter and she provides me with new material.

Last updated September 05, 2011