And all that Jazz that I never listened to on my PC but always harped on about to anyone who would lend me an ear suddenly becomes clear again, ringing in my ear again, stage front and of paramount importance. Jazz 2010 Festival Internacional takes me back to the days of my heady zest for the music that sprung from the lips of Charlie Parker, that rolled out of the mouth of Herbie Hancock and that continually made me bop my head in dark, backstreet hipster Mexico.
It's a remedy, a cultural tonic to the inane 8am first class, 10am second class and intermittent social networking between appointments and push ups and eating raviolis from a packet while I try to put some order on my days, arranging my life into some semblance of regularity despite my desperate soul's determination to defy such unfamiliar practices.
So I nap, listening to the garbled, Jewish gobbledigook filtering distorted over the wall from the hostel next door, drifting in and back out of dreams about killing taxi drivers and then wake and barely conscious stuff sandwiches down my throat to God only knows where I don't care and it's a bus and the filth and then free! to race some more, riding the regular routes of the BA transit system, pushing on, always carrying my weary bones forward towards the Trastienda where I saunter in like I own the joint although it's free.
The tonic morphs into a bottle of El Portillo 2009 Malbec and despite my back ache on bad chairs I read articles on international finance deals between Latin America and Iran before the music breaks out again, catching me supping from the wine glass and I gawp and smile and tap'a rap my fingers on the table grinning at the nervous porteño next to me. And it rolls and it runs and I stare and simultaneously close my eyes and lean very carefully on my elbow connected loosely to jerking dancing fingers...
Called away to dine and I'm stealing away through the city streets, improvising a route up to San Martín plaza, to and fro in the highs and the lows of the now empty streets bar the young kids kicking a ball around the Plaza de Mayo. Humming along as I slip out of the weekend I'm now stuck in the moment and thrusting bills at cab men to go faster to go back to the Jazz. Where am I from? France my good man now step on it! And out and back in and there're friends and good times around the table and they saved my half bottle for me and we murmur excitedly, enthusiastic and we have to make silly arguments when angry Argentines turn and growl but they don't understand and all's well and the music recommences and nothing could be iller than the combined talents of a multitude of musicos internacionales strutting and frowning and earnestly sharing such exertions as they can, revelling in the jam freedom, darned piano guitarist grimaces whilst playing rolling melodies, G plays on almighty Jazz fusion rock and w love it until it gets even better later, picked up by double bass licks and lines and it's all a rhyme and a group riddle. We nod and tap and jerk happily soaking up the rhythms through ears and fingers and hairs on our arms and flashing looks to costados to see if everyone can gozar lo mismo, if those cats have got the groove and we're sharing the universal joy of it all or rather got caught in an intense concentration like willing the band on telepathically!
And after a long day it's enough, it's heavenly and a part of me feels that this is why I came to a city stuck in the early twentieth century and why I frequented those Mexican bars and this is what I want to see and hear and enjoy as much as anything you could push on me right now.
It's jazz and everyone leaves happily, although my feet hurt my heart floats home on a grinning bassline before a slow fade out and gone...