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Letters To Cannonball Adderly and Nat

Cannonball Adderly

Cannonball Adderly

So when the down beat hit the count old Nat,

my brother, blew his horn truly inspired.

The other side where the piano sat,

It seemed as if his jaws they never tired.

A sax and trumpet chewing the fat

with Joe on piano the tune was wired.

Into Mercy, Mercy, Mercy we jammed

a performance beyond the notes we played.

So Wayne remembers Sixty Three on stage

in Prague, with band on military leave.

He blew his trumpet like a minor sage,

he hit each note with perfect tone to cleave,

the drums and bass a luscious beat to cage,

each empty space was filled, some to leave

to audience, a memory in time,

a perfect set, to wail in three four sign.

To fulfill my desire to learn keys

I found a teacher from the notes of Wayne

and every week we sailed the circle seas

and listen to old albums to gain

with each seventh chord my right hand to please.

Your right and left had worked to stay sane,

each lick to watch as Wayne would grin and smile

and sometimes his horn would fill empty Miles.

With wife in tow, Wayne's desire to teach

in public schools, to teach music beloved,

to children practices the notes he'd preach

that scales and notes and chords could fit all groove.

To provide them joy life will try to leach,

introduce music they will know and love

like Cannonball Adderly and brother

when running scales to jam, crowds would gather.

Sometime before Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,

he, Cannonball, taught in our public schools.

Sometime after Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

he would take the time to teach us his tools;

how a 12-bar blues can leave you thirsty,

how form and feeling sometimes break the rules.

Recorded "A Child's Introduction

to Jazz," to teach children some emotion.

I write this letter to thank both of you.

The first time I heard Charlie Parker play sax,

Art Blakey in Paris to name a few.

These tunes, this backbeat drawn from Congo racks,

to make things work, to create something new,

when I performed with Wayne's trumpet on facts.

To thank Cannonball and Nat for your song.

To Wayne who taught me how to play notes long.

© 2017 Jamie Lee Hamann

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