Paul Desmond/Kenneth Salzmann
Because the continents once touched,
because each new thing is borrowed
note by adventurous note from each new
thing that came before, and because
Bossa Nova sways like a samba side to side,
each new song is an ancient song.
Because each new song is an ancient song,
and because each ancient song is new again,
and because jazz sails or swings front to back,
each elegant melody touches both sky and earth.
Because each elegant melody touches
both sky and earth
a sax and a guitar
might trade counterpoint whispers.
Because a sax and a guitar might trade counterpoint whispers,
and because rhythm and melody never will be contained
by what false borders or fences we imagine we have built,
Bossa Nova and Bossa Antigua might be one and the same.
Bossa Nova and Bossa Antigua might be one and the same
because a sax and a guitar might trade counterpoint whispers,
because each elegant melody touches both sky and earth,
because each ancient song is new again,
because each new song is an ancient song,
and because the continents yet again might touch.
Somewhere deep inside
where melody and marrow
meet, an October song is born.
Like a dry martini on a summer
afternoon, the saxophone glides
up and under the Amazon’s ethereal
rainforest rhythms, cooling hot
jungle breezes that might
for some other player be
a summertime cloudburst,
a reaching after the rainy
truths or quarter-truths.
Your October song is
a rippling reflection of
a memory and a melancholy
promise mined this time, too,
from somewhere deep inside
where melody and marrow meet.
So many have walked along this wall
in just this way that their footfalls, too,
are beaten in sambas and rondos
into the hidden tempo of the street;
yours come down at stage door
in five-four paces,encircling ghostly
wisps of breath, gathering again
in a new confusion of entrances and exits
reedy melodies drawn from a muscle memory
of riffs that how often have skitted
through those horns in cool
approximations of redemption.