Archive for January, 2010

“…the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle…”

Posted in Uncategorized on January 15, 2010 by Josslyn Luckett

Happy Birthday dear dear Dr. King.   I love this image of King leaning in, and it makes me think what an action to concentrate on for 2010, leaning in…to listen, to engage, to whisper tender truth, to call forth.  I hear King so much this week as I wonder regarding Haiti how we will ever move from the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope.  I hear you calling us, especially the nations’ leaders to, “a world wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class and nation…a call for an all embracing and unconditional love for all…”  You end the famous speech at Riverside asking us to rededicate ourselves to “the long and bitter, but beautiful, struggle for a new world…” 

What I want to take time to celebrate in this first post of this new decade is that I feel so high on the next generation, the world wide fellowship of jazz musicians coming up.  I got to feast on this fellowship last weekend at the Winterfest 2010 in Greenwich Village.  Both nights in venue after venue packed to the gills I kept saying to myself, Jazz is so alive and sooooooooooo global…and luckily still funky and lyrical (I just remember so many “new jazz fests” back when I lived in New York that were packed with so called jazzers who wouldn’t dare to swing, it was such a relief to hear music that made my hips move and my heart soar).

When you have a trio like Lionel Loueke’s Benin, Hungary, Swedish- Italian synergy on one stage, and my Malaysian via Australia sister Linda Oh with Cuban pianist Fabian Almazan across the street, then the past my bedtime way late night set of Rudresh Mahanthappa and Rez Abassi’s Indo-Pak coalition (if Rudresh doesn’t have the most breathtaking tone in current saxophone history…please tell me who does)  you know, you remember, worldwide fellowship is not only possible and preferable, it’s on…and it swings.  Somebody say Hallelujah.  And now say Hallelujah in whatever language they speak in Benin, Hungary, Sweden, Italy, Malaysia, Cuba, India and Pakistan and let’s lift up that fact that all of these countries speak Duke Ellington, speak Jaco Pastorius, speak Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach.  When Linda Oh was sampling some political protest to intro one of her tunes, I got this rush that maybe some of that “We Insist” energy is coming back with this new global crew.

In the fatigue of despair, I insist that we rededicate ourselves, re-energize ourselves with the hopeful buoyancy of this global orange juice for the ear as Oliver Sacks would call it.  Keep up with these musicians and shout out of gratitude to Brice Rosenbloom and all who worked tirelessly to bring thousands of music lovers the divine banquet of world wide jazz fellowship:  Winterfest 2010(