NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 89
The Jazz Farmer for Art Farmer ( Aug . 1928 – Oct . 1999 )
Blades bled pain in his voice When he mentioned the wings he grew Flying to Stockholm , then Vienna To cultivate his art . After his last set at the Regatta bar , The pressure of his large palms Made an imprint on mine .
America has been a difficult terrain For farmers . Black hands plowing Land to foment home-grown crops Were bulldozed , blocked , black-marketed . Art ’ s talent dipped in shadow , a rigged world Where toilers are spat on . What he produced Was not brash , his melodic lines strung Deep peace with penetrating healing . Europeans salivated over his taste : Organic , full-bodied , round with an edge .
Through his trumpet or the flugelhorn Art farmed his own art Causing bopping heads to swim Into the music . Ears , like butterflies fluttered By his lifting and reflective sound . I closed my eyes and felt the music Traveling ; sometimes like an albatross , Or prowling like a cheetah . Blood rushed , spines shivered Warm notes filtered to the solar plexus I became butter .
You took us there , a baptism of musical grace , Art Farmer and Clifford Jordan waded in silk blues , Blowing sunflower and apple seeds From golden horns into top-soil ears . I grew into your field of organic phrasings , As your trumpet and flugel horn morphed Into a hybrid voice , trident and yet mellow . Your flumpet became singular , your permaculture .