Remix In Addis

(to be thrummed to the tune of Greensleeves on a jazz arrangement, with the traditional Japanese shakuhachi bamboo flute playing the melody)


Alas, my love you do me wrong
to cast me off so gracelessly
for I have lovèd you so long
delighting in your company…


 …we hear it smooth riffing swooping down in our ears like the English swallow returning from Africa in spring – so long ago a king composed it on the guitar for his lady-love (I hope she didn’t loose her head) – the strings electrified and amplifying this tune from the silver age of another land to our lives here now in the new flower, how many miles away are we from Hampton Court? Synthesized and harmonized and jazzed up still melancholy a song of regret, reproach, love a lost paradise and into its sinuous melody insinuates itself yet another sphere, another tradition transformed, so naturally does the shakuhachi blow Greensleeves to Kyoto. He stands and sways plays like he was the brother of Bird Parker or a Zen master assigning a koan to which the answer dances between the notes, infuses us with low light haunts, enchants entrances so gradually we hear the circle complete itself as Japanese groove returns this mellow jam across the aeons to England. In our low sofas in the dark in minutes we travel five hundred years fifteen thousand miles around the earth millions of light-years of cosmic song – the stars of space the jazz stars of the new world could not have given us more soul-enhancing harmony…

Greensleeves was all my joy
Greensleeves was my delight
Greensleeves was my heart of gold
and all for my lady Greensleeves…

– inspired by a jazz evening in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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