Saturday 27 February 2021

Klaus Høeck: 'Eventyr' (1992) - poems about Dexter Gordon (pp. 260-62)


eighth improvisation

                on time

i ought to have

written a sonnet

                for dexter gordon

                in black and violet

framed with ivy

a sonnet that praised his

                low notes which sound

                as if he is blowing

over empty beer bottles and i’ll

certainly do so one fine day



but right now i’m more

                preoccupied with a small

oddity in his playing

i’m talking about the minimal

                lag behind the beat

                that is so character

istic for dexter gordon

the slight delay between

                what he plays and

                what he actually plays

the small rubato between

the seconds’ nicotine stains



that slight imprecision

                that has caused

certain people to

assume that

                dexter gordon

                couldn’t keep

up and that he would

finally find himself

                lacking a

                number of

notes when the piece

had come to an end



that of course is not

                the case – by means

of his technique dexter gordon

ends up rather playing more

                than he actually

                plays – he almost

manages to comment on his

own playing by means of

                this tiny time-lag

                to interpret not only

what he has played but

what he is playing right now



in reality it is the

                very delay

between life and art that dexter

gordon is demonstrating and

                who knows is maybe trying

                to drown out with hisT

saxophone – in reality

dexter gordon is attempting

                to hold life and art

                together in one moment

do you get me? – dexter gordon

is extending the now in extremis

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