At VA yesterday morning there was a guy in the hallway strumming chords with some great sevenths for occasional surprises.
He’s always there. People stop to listen but rarely leave any cash. Inspired for some reason, I started whistling improv – jazz lines blending beautifully even when Mr. Guitar – Man erred.
I used to be one of the best whistlers ever till I started repairing my teeth. Somehow the wind from my lungs uber-reacts with these dental changes in a new and different way, usually in an unfriendly, non-musical manner that gives me the shivers.
I had thus forgotten my talent but for some reason it returned this morning. Together Mr. Guitar-man and Bobby Lee Spike Oaks Broom drew quite a crowd.
When my notes eventually began to fail me I started singing Allen Toussaint – style scat riffs and carried the Guitar Man’s hat around for money. We got a few tens – lots of fives and singles. When I handed him his hat, his lips started moving and his hands started signing. He took the money but someone told me later he wasn’t doing this for financial gain; his music is his gift to the Vets. He was once a professional jazz singer – songwriter – musician. A throat injury in a Middle East conflict took his voice. I still don’t know what his stage name was.