The Light of Dawn

Somewhere there’s a club, high end, but only known by those who know. Five young guys fresh out of school, hot musicians with a high regard for the art are playing. Bass, drums, piano, alto/tenor sax, and guitar. They are tight! The crowd is into it.

They are cooking with post bop, sliding way back to swing, skipping to bebop, and then pushing ahead to fusion. It’s wild! The crowd is not still. Feet tapping, fingers snapping, drinks flying . . .

Then four older guys walk in with weathered, worn, leather cases.

The young guys see them and finish their set for a break, and the manager catches them and says something, anything. The young guys already know, because they have such a high regard for the art. Their love is for music; playing is a way to express it. The manager looks at the older guys and gives a nod. They begin to set up, and one of them, the drummer, pulls out his own cymbals and replaces the Paiste cymbals with his own. They are old, old Zildjians from Turkey, and he has drilled a few holes and placed dents, carefully, in every one. Tuned to perfection. The piano player presses some keys, pulls out a tattered notepad. He lifts the lid and places tiny pieces of paper, here and there around the sound board, tuning. Upright bass, tarnished sax, tuning. No guitar, just the four.

Then they begin.

Not playing.

Creating.

It’s Music. Pure Straight-ahead Jazz.

The young guys with high regard sit. The waitstaff, all sitting. No one wants a drink. The manager stands dead center, in the shadows, smiling. No feet tapping, no fingers snapping, the crowd doesn’t dare desecrate.

The four guys mesmerize. They are masters of the art, old enough to understand it, young enough to enjoy it.

Just before midnight, straight into “‘Round Midnight”, and then one after another . . .

The Music–it doesn’t stop until the light of dawn . . .