b.z. niditch | yes, now's the time


In an Army beret
a tall alto sax guy
living on the Cajun edge
of natural fervor
in a core of voices
at my early gig
juiced by melody
his makeshift verse
a language of half-speech
up from New Orleans
having known Parker
since the Village days
of jamming and jive,
stands by the pool table
inked with green bottles,
pushing my chest
with his thumb,
says to me
in pitiless expression,
“Son,aim for high D
and scatter your notes
not for news hacks uptown
or know -nothing critics
of music renown,
play with inspiration
as in the Mardi Gras
I’m telling you,
shoot for the stars,
Go beyond swing,
bebop, anyway is
more entertaining,
kid, play with elan
let improvisation
be your main man,
like the Yardbird sings
taking off
like Daedalus,
inventor of wings.

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