March 31, 2002
"The Eleventh Commandment: Thou shall not commit adulthood." - bathroom wall wisdom, Snug Harbor men's room

"And the Lord said, `Let there be Jazz!'" - Genesis 1:32 (The King Louie Version)

Johnny's Cajun Show. Easter Day. Listening to DJ Johnny on WWOZ, I know where Adam Sandler came up with his "Cajun Man" character. Yeeehaw! And last night it was jazz way down beneath the Quarter at Snug Harbor on Frenchman. Jason, my next door neighbor, strums his standup base, his face contorted in serious concentration. His buddy Bryce on tenor sax, now on clarinet. I open my eyes again and the gods have gilded that black clarinet gold and now it's a soprano sax screaming high and mighty, piercing the satin castle of cumulus clouds and carrying us with him to glory, glory hallelujah amen! Wow. A thoroughly unforeseen meeting with the miraculous! And me! In sandals dangling from a sore ass flat wooden bar stool in the back and all these stuffy moneyed martini sippin' cats in all the good seats between me and the band and me thinking when I walked in that this would be a bust, not my scene but I'd stay for a bit to honor Jason's putting my name on the list, and man o man was I wrong! Glad I was. I stayed for the whole gig, slipping in to some doctors seat after his beeper called he and wifey away and this hep old black cat in full African dress and dredded white beard taking the other seat and both of us closin' our eyes and just jammin! Old Cat hardly moves a muscle but my head's bobbin' to beat the band, my feet jittery tappin time and I can't stop, can't stop, don't care who's watchin. Then when that soprano sax hits that high crescendo note and a ripple of wow runs through the crowd the Old Cat comes alive, saying "All right! All right! You go boy! Mmmm!" And the cocktail waitress, caught in the crossfire of all that jumpin' mighty jazz lets her tray sway and the smash of glass goes with it all like the finger-snappin of a thousand Tinkerbells sparkling suspended overhead here in the dense air of Snug Harbor Jazz Club, New Orleans and somewhere an old clock hand ticks to twelve and Jesus returns to the imperfect world and smiles and we all are saved, all of us, everybody! everybody! ev-er-eeee-bod-eee.

RSM


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