Saturday, March 16, 2013

When White Guys Move

One evening in Memphis we went to a venue for a blues and food. One of the bands that evening was a funk band with about six members. One of the horn players was the only white guy in the group. We sat there and got into the groove and watching the band move. The guitar player, the bass player, the two sax players had an easy-going funk. They didn't move much but produced a good sound.

As I watched the other horn player, the white guy I had this awful moment of awareness. I leaned over and whispered to my wife:

See that horn player- the white guy? That's what I look like in our big band, moving like that, isn't it?
She simply raised an eyebrow, smiled, and nodded.

He was into the music, no doubt about it. It moved him. He loved it. He couldn't NOT move to it. The groove- the funk- was real. He's a white dude moved by the music, but the body doesn't move easily. I am sure there are plenty of us white dudes out there who CAN move to the groove and not look like we're trying to move frozen muscles. I am also sure that I don't move anywhere near as easily as this guy did.

But it was a humbling moment as I realized that I don't really have the "body groove" to do it with real soul.

No, that's not true. I do it with what is my real soul. As I move to the beat of a song, as I allow my body to feel the music and turn it from potential into kinetic energy- that's me. That's real!

Will I now stop? Will I now stand, playing my trumpet like I am a statue that produces a sound?

Not on your life. I can't NOT move. That's what the music does with me. 

Thank God for what I do have.

1 comment:

Greg Chamberlin said...

I suggest taking the Miles Davis approach; turn your back to the audience and blow baby, blow!