Friday, April 6, 2012

concatenating cogitation

My father liked to use the word "cogitation." He was a junior-high science and math teacher and then principal.

Tonight his word works in me while I watch the evening sun on the mountains after a spring storm and listen to the Craig Taborn Trio in concert at the Village Vanguard.

It was the New York Times that sent me into my study to find the NPR recording of the set.

For 25 minutes I've been listening to the first number, jazz piano so thoughtful and so thoughtfully comped by bass and drums that I have enjoyed just sitting here looking out the window and alternately thinking about the douglas firs slashing from lower left to upper right up the mountain in the first photo and about the paired trills of the piano leading into a melody in which it's almost impossible to distinguish immediately whether the notes are from the bass or the piano and about my friend Zarko in Cologne, a jazz aficionado extraordinaire, and about the quiet light framed by my windows and about the repetitive nature of this music and of all art and about the rhythms of life and about the coming years and about Taborn's ability to play two instruments at once on the keyboard, rhythm and melody, about Taborn's simultaneous patience and insistence, about the clouds sliding south to north across the tops of the mountains, about New York City and my son Tom earning his living there playing jazz, about whether Taborn will break the repetitive pattern that builds as it continues sooner or later -- there it comes, powerful chords put an end to the dominant rhythm and give way to single light notes, bass and drum coming to the foreground, about change and continuation, about thoughtful jazz and thoughtful minutes passing while the light begins to fade—

all framed by thoughts and feelings and gathering experience and enhanced by an Italian white wine in the context of a still evening with nothing pressing and an open day ahead with good work planned and big fat bass notes against tapping percussion and rocking and running piano and alpenglow sweet and deep and on and on into the night, 44 minutes now into this concentrated and baggy number and crash!—final chord and applause.


michael morrow said...

tuning ears, sharpening, sharpening definition, inner life melds melodic capture....learning and learning to recognize distinguishing time since sleeping next to bedwetting sis in the school house where she went to first grade, subzero Illinois flat land and jungers keresene stove warming 9 kids floor sleeping in front.....I knew I would find my here

Scott Abbott said...

we all have amazing and unexpected and difficult and wonderful histories we're left to work with.

michael morrow said...

yeh...the most interesting thing about education is learning to see-hear-feel one's own and then others "amazing and unexpected and difficult and wonderful histories we're left to work with" without judgment, but rather allowing the same degree of freedom for all...ppheeww...yeh learning to learn is so subtle and vital for distilling life from "histories we're left to work with" I love the exercise...blood, sweat,and tears nourish soul