The Heart of the Matter
May 15, 2008


A couple of nights ago I went to a local concert that featured my friend, the jazz saxophonist, Peter Buettner and his quartet. I had heard Peter play many times before, but never like this. He was soaring, free, transcendental, and plugged into the saxophone Gods that night. After the gig, I saw him in the lobby and told him how awesome he was. Peter smiled and mentioned that he finally figured out a way to go beyond himself and stop analyzing his own playing. In other words, he let go to his natural gifts and just let it rip.

This is the same challenge we all have, no matter what medium we use to express ourselves. When we give up being self-conscious, when we give up worrying about what other people think, the true power and beauty of our art form materializes immediately.

And so, in honor of Peter's breakthrough and the one that's imminent for you, here's a song of praise for all the jazz boppers out there -- the ones who go beyond the boundaries of form and somehow find their way home.

(Please read it aloud for maximum impact...)


There's a billion jazz men in my blood, blowing their horns for love. They've been out on the street too long to wonder what the hell is going on -- for in their freedom -- in their utmost respect for recklessness, they know that life is but a high note held above the head of anyone who listens.

Happy to be playing on a night when others less fortunate than them are recovering from day jobs, these jazz boppers restore all integrity to the underground club that is my body here in this nether world of friends and future lovers. I sing with them! I dance! I tap my soul to the beat of their incessant drumming! And though they do not need to look at me, they smile.

What I see I cannot say, nor can this midnight review redeem the essence of what it is these billion molecules of madness in human form demand.

This is the form of God before your eyes! This is the moment of majesty!

Jazz men, jazz men, play your horns and drums, pound those keys so the vague interrupters of eternity can finally get up and dance and forget themselves once and for all.

Jazz men, play yourselves.

Hey you finger drumming soldiers of man's need to stop finding himself, and so stopping, actually find himself to be found. Hey, you street licking bluesmen of the space between day and night, I love your song, your scream for no one in particular.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at May 15, 2008 11:53 AM

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Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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