Vanishing evocations

The finest piece of writing I know on music, creativity, life and the whole damn thing by James Baldwin. “Listen, Creole seemed to be saying, listen. Now these are Sonny’s blues. He made the little black man on the drums know it, and the bright, brown man on the horn. Creole wasn’t trying any longer to get Sonny in the water. He was wishing him Godspeed. Then he stepped back, very slowly, filling the air with the immense suggestion that Sonny speak for himself.”

Solid gold creativity

“All I know about music is that not many people ever really hear it. And even then, on the rare occasions when something opens within, and the music enters, what we mainly hear, or hear corroborated, are personal, private, vanishing evocations. But the man who creates the music is hearing something else, is dealing with the roar rising from the void and imposing order on it as it hits the air …

I just watched Sonny’s face.  His face was troubled, he was working hard, but he wasn’t with it.  And I had the feeling that, in a way, everyone on the bandstand was waiting for him, both waiting for him and pushing him along. But as I began to watch Creole, I realised that it was Creole who held them all back. He had them on a short rein. Up there, keeping the beat with his whole body, wailing…

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