Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Excerpt from "My Life Sucked..." by A. Dacosta Brathway

...As a part of my socialization process, my mother introduced me to jazz music. This was significant because I was diggin' music that my peers could not even get to (which made me hipper than them!). My mother must have been in entertainment in another life because she was always singing and dancing around the house. She talked about her days when she hung out at a dance hall or the movies or a concert. Her album pile consisted of Dakota Staton, Nancy Wilson, Billie Holiday... All smooth singers that hung out in Harlem back in the day. To be honest, I didn't really care about that style of jazz but it did motivate me to get into cats like Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Byrd, and Coltrane (when he went into his transendental spiritual meditation bag! There were others... Bobby Hutchinson, McCoy Tyner, Andrew Hill, Greshen Moncur, Dizzy... I was so far gone at 15 years old, it wasn't even funny. I actually wanted to become a jazz musician but I didn't have the one main ingredient a musician needed to have... I couldn't play an instrument worth a shit! And gettin' high did not help my plight. But I had everything else a jazz musician had. I had the look, the voice (you know, low and raspy), the walk and the drugs. I wanted to be down so bad, I thought about joining the school jazz band and strapping a kazoo to a tenor sax just so I could be down! It probably worked out for the better though. If I had got down the way I wanted to, I wouldn't be writing this now. I'd be dead and, probably, would not have become world renowned the way my idols did. And, in retrospect, I would have gone overboard. I would have so cool, I would have been too cool for my peers and they would have shunned me anyway. But, now that I know what I know, I should have done it because my life is really fucked up now and I didn't have a blast getting to this point!

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