After going our separate ways at a crossroads down in Waynesboro, it took me damn near four months to get back together with my band in the Fall of twenty-two. That’s a long time. It didn’t feel that way though. Not when you’d walk everywhere. Bix used to call his time walkin’ his “extra lives”; if there is such a thing. Said it don’t matter where you’re goin’ or who you’re meetin’, every trail was a life in itself. A miniature life. And when I finally did meet up with my band that year – behind a rusted out hotel in Baton Rouge – it meant that much more. Seeing them was like seein’ the woman I never had.
Don’t work that way now. That four months for a young person now equals gaining and losing twenty-some odd friends, and that’s without walking anywhere or having any face to face contact to speak of. It don’t feel right. Not in a personal sense, and certainly not in a societal sense. It ain’t like before we had your technology – Internet, social networking, cell phones – we didn’t make connections with each other. It’s just the scale was smaller in terms of sheer amount, and greater in terms of elapsed time. The connections we made with each other, those was deeper, realer, less superficial than they come now. When you knew someone in the city, you knew someone in the city… well. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect to sleep on their floor for a night or two.
The Jazz, and eventual Blues, community breathed connections from its inception. It’s how you started bands, recorded, played shows, met the audience, drank, even wrote songs. Read the rest of this entry »