Jazz by the Boulevard
by Dave Oliphant


for Donna Van Ness


yesterday
on a temporary
outdoor stage
the Heritage
named
for the Park Cities Bank
in recognition of & to honor
this festival’s money-lending sponsor
Marchel Ivery performed at 69
& today on the Coors Light Main
David “Fathead” Newman at 74
is holding forth
Marchel having honked & swung on
“Star Eyes” “Bag’s Groove” & “Lover Man”
now David doing the same in & on “Hard Times”
& also Hoagy’s “Georgia on My Mind”
having opened with “Billie’s Bounce”
as whites blacks yellows & browns of Cowtown’s
crowd mill around or in portable seats
shake their heads & tap their feet
to the quartet’s driving beat
out of reach of the shadow of Will Rogers’ Coliseum
across from the Kimbell Art Museum
here for this “cowboy & culture” promotional scheme
a city manager’s dream
to celebrate the Lone Star’s native sons
to generate a few jobs & a bit of income
for local citizens the majority in shorts
& most everyone sports
a pair of shades from the sun’s late September blaze
as even in these autumn days
it just keeps burning on
bright & unseasonably strong
with a little of the force
of these Texas tenors
blowing yet with might & main
despite age’s unrelenting aches & pains
rhythm-a-ning & improvising of blues
or on pop tunes of Tin Pan Jews
bring joy to all have come to hear
who never knew a Ku Klux fear
here one block over from Camp Bowie
the brick-paved street intersects with University
where admission is gratis
thanks to Cadillac’s
major financial grant & to volunteers
manning booths including that Rocky Mountain beer’s
causes one to wonder does hurt & happiness accord
with the roots of a minor chord
can the melodic blend in any song
set right a lingering wrong
seems so to go by the loving-it look
when these Black men cook
with their hard-bop licks
their soulful stratospherics
a look apparent on every listener’s face
regardless of race
or place of birth
due in part to an elegant auto’s corporate worth
but most to elder statesmen hanging on
to produce a dateless priceless tone






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