Thursday, September 27, 2007

Before the BOSSA NOVA

A gentleman walked into the office and sat down. I noticed he had a very distinct accent which seemed to match his brown and white tropical shirt. I don't know why, but I took out the cd that had been playing on my computer (Organs in Orbit) and replaced it with Astrud Gilberto's Finest Hour.

I started working on Mr. O's chart and he sat there, feeling a little nervous, making a few awkward jokes about health insurance and airports...then he stopped.

He leaned forward and looked up at me and said "Bossa Nova?"

I smiled and said "Astrud Gilberto".

He stared for a moment at the wall and then up at the ceiling and then back at me and smiled. "Brazil! You know, Hooooowayoooo?(Joao Gilberto) This was before the Bossa Nova. This was before the ROCK N ROLL! This was the music of the country. The old country, none of this: (insert crazy horn noises here). I used to see THIS little girl (I'm assuming he meant Bebel) running around naked under the piano. We would sit and write and play. I was a musician, you see."

I stopped typing. At least I think that was when I stopped, I may have stopped minutes before that, the rhythm of the words I was typing slowed as the stories flowed out of this man's glistening eyes. All I could think of was an open window looking out on the splendors of Brazil, a wide window with a baby grand piano just under the frame, a man in a chair with his arms wrapped around a guitar, dark hair, calm voice,....

"Aha!" Mr. O leaned down again, tilting his head with his right ear closer to the music. I heard Stan Getz's warm phrasing over strings.

"Getz?" I pushed the medical consent form across the front of my desk towards him. He absentmindedly scribbled his signature in the lower left corner of the page.

"Jobim! He was always hanging around. This was before the Bossa Nova, you see. And he always wanted us to play Jazz! (hands up in air) Jazz!! (hands higher) Jazz!"

I gathered the printed forms together. My heart was caught in my throat. I wanted to ask him so many things. I wanted to walk away from this desk and sit down next to him and ask him to tell me stories. I want to have more than this momentary glimpse through this bright and beautiful window.

Instead I asked him how he liked Birmingham. He said he had always lived in cosmopolitan areas. Birmingham? He nodded. He approved. He mentioned meeting a few men from a jazz combo that played around town. Ray Reach? Cleve Eaton? He wasn't sure. He liked them though. He went on to tell me about his time in London where he worked as an associate producer for EMI. "They paid me just to listen!" He motioned with his hand toward his ear and cocked his head and grinned.

Mr. O stood up as I stood up. He smiled with his eyes crinkled and quiet. I put out my hand. "Thank you. It's been very nice talking with you. Thank you for sharing so much. I really enjoyed it." He took my hand with both of his and nodded his head, then he let go and turned and walked out of my office. The musical timeline in my head raced around and around. Brazil? Astrud? Joao? Bebel? Miúcha? Jobim? I turned to my computer and sat down with a sigh. Astrud hummed along in the background, guiding me back to that open window, to the blue, blue sky and beyond.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Rumours Are True

It's been a good 4 years since I last wrote a power paragraph. I've spent alot of time, lately, writhing on the floor (seriously) trying to come up with thesis statements and topic sentences. I'm not used to this. I want to write something bigger, something better than a power paragraph.

So I've come back here to exorcise those demons.

New things:
- School (One english class) (it's killing me)
- Taking a break from Skybucket (I know. But it had to be done. Can't do work and school AND Bucket.)
- MS Diet that I'm checking out by Naturopath Ann Boroch
- The latest John Vanderslice record - Emerald City (beautiful!)