When Jackie McLean first appeared on the scene
He swung it like nobody else;
He stood all alone, with that bittersweet tone,
Owing nobody, only himself.
With his furious attack he could take you back
To the beauty of Yardbird’s song,
But that solemn moan made it all his own,
As burning passion flowed lush from his horn.
Hearing “Love and Hate” made Jazz my fate,
Joyous anguish dripped blue from his song.
He both smiled and cried and dug deep-down inside,
Until the innocence of my childhood was gone.
He took me to a place that had no face,
I was so young when I heard his sweet call,
But he parted the fog and in no time at all,
A child of bebop sprung fully enthralled.
As I heard this new sound, and embraced the profound,
Childish eyes now saw as a man;
I stood totally perplexed, but I couldn’t step back,
From the hunger of my mind to expand.
I saw Charlie and Lester, and a smiling young Dexter,
As I peered into Jackie’s sweet horn;
it was a place that I knew, though I’d never been to,
But a place that I now call my home.
Rest well, Jackie.
Eric L. Wattree
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