The streets of my Harlem village offer me the sights and sounds of the world. On my block alone, there’s a Mosque, a Baptist church, a Pentecostal church, a Masonic Temple, and The Church of Latter Day Saints right there on Lenox Avenue. The Senegalese drummers wake me at dawn each Monday morning with their dance, and their offerings give rise to the incense vendors who pause five times a day and offer the most beautiful music through the hum of traffic and cries of the sliced mango vendors from Mexico.
In the evening, the homeboys of the lowest slung jeans ilk rock the block from an old-school boom box carried in the jaws of a pitbull terrier named Doobie. We traverse through myriad genres: musical, cultural, linguistic to complete a holistic emotional journey each day. At night we marvel at the wonder of our union in this seemingly, un-sharable bed.
From this place, I am as moved by Abbey Lincoln’s heavenly view of mortal life, Down Here Below, as I am by measures fifty-eight through sixty-two of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. For me they are not and must never be separate conversations.
This week on Q2, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to catch Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue when you’re actually feeling kind of blue, or dissolve into the steady rhythm of your own heartbeat inside the music of Steve Reich. Either way, you won’t have to choose. You won’t have to make one better or worse. You can, for a moment, have it all.