Legacy

Continuum celebrates and brings attention to the work of selected musicians in recognition of their high level contributions to jazz, creative music, and American and global culture. We do this through creation of video, music projects, oral history, writing, advocacy, and by other means. More information will be forthcoming.

 

Connie Crothers Poem

On May 2, 2017 we celebrate the birthday of the great Connie Crothers–our recently departed, dear friend who inspired many through her ground-breaking piano work, art, teaching, philosophy, efforts at self-empowerment, and much more.

 

Feel free to download the correctly formatted poem here: CCrothers v 3

 

What follows is a somewhat adequate, but incorrectly formatted version…

 

 

                             for Connie

 

 

 

Connie Crothers!

Connie Crothers!

Connie Crothers!

Connie Crothers!

 

 

constant positivity

 

                                                                           wow!

           man——-that was perfect

(say it just like that)

 

                        man——-that was perfect

                                                               wasn’t it?

 

 

Connie Crothers!

 

 

             that was the absolute perfect tempo

 

the exact right time

 

 

Connie Crothers!

 

 

constant

 

 

insistence on recognizing

reverberations        and resonance

 

constant

 

verbalization       respect      homage

 

to the moment

to the great ancestors

to the immortal divine

genius-strike of lightning

that discharges from forces

within everyone

 

Louie Lester Billie Bird

Lenny Tristano

Max Roach

someone maybe being born next year

 

                                                            yes! yes!

 

her acolytes–all of ’em

all of us

 

with whom she shared

warmth

 

love

appreciation

knowledge

connection

lore

 

Connie Crothers knew

 

 

 

that this is the perfect tempo

 

the perfect time

 

 

the way we listen

the way we

make our entrance

right now

pulling the pulse

from thin air

from

what wasn’t there before

but

what needed to be

 

the time was perfect

the time was perfect

 

 

 

 

our time is so imperfect

brutal

unfair beyond lifetimes of grief

governed     by cruelty       greed     fear

and lack of imagination

hate rules

ignorance legislates

profiting total assholes and dummies

who will never know shit from shit

 

 

 

 

Connie knew

she was no cynic

 

Connie was always ready

to be real

Connie’s courage

over and over

to sit in space

to improvise

trusting the moment

trusting the self

across decades

Connie knew

these moments are

one

timeless

thing

 

spirit waiting to descend

or ascend

Connie knew

an alternate universe

and was earnest

tenacious

for hope and action

 

Connie knew

how to twist time

into something alive

a fiber

unimaginable to anyone

else in the room

but once birthed

into our medium

time

as inevitable as if

it always had to be

 

it always had to be

 

Connie Crothers!

Connie Crothers!

 

Ring the bells!

 

ring our brains

our nerves

our bones

 

flesh and blood

are

an open harp

of     undampered

piano strings

 

struck

strummed

plucked

tapped

conjured

cajoled

 

to full volume

by two knowing arms

in balance

curved

from a loose sleeved blouse

in command

of fingers

 

strong messengers

sent

to exactly where and when

they are needed

and need to be

 

 

Connie conjures

Connie conjures

 

conjugations

 

and pianistic orchestrations

 

 

shovel-loads of harmony

melodic conjectures uncoiling

unspooling ideas and innuendos

hammering the contours

of raw sonic energy

 

of something as close to transcendence

as we are ever gonna get

 

vibration                           behind       vibration

 

the ritual of a master

addressing

 

the magic box

 

the ritual of us together

here

now

forever

 

 

Connie knew

the real deal

the real shit

 

she knew obligation

and knew everyone so touched

has a responsibility               to share it

to not waste

what is most precious

time

Connie taught constantly

to make what we can

with it

to DO

to ACT

 

the time is perfect

 

now

 

 

 

 

 

(c) 2016 Andrew Drury all rights reserved

written during a flight from Iceland to the US on August 13. I got the news of Connie’s passing a few minutes before stepping on the plane. Previous versions appeared in Arteidolia and on www.creatividadenmovimiento.com