THIS essay got me thinking.
My maternal grandmother was born on Santa Catalina Island, raised most of her children in Villa Guerrero and Temastian Jalisco and when she returned to Califas she refused to speak English. My mother carried the burden of Spanish through high school, in a violently unfamiliar but always brown English-only Los Angeles. A reminder to my mom that she was definitely not Mexican-American. Fast (not so far) forward to my birth and childhood, when English forced my mom into becoming a definite Mexican-American, I learned that grandma always understood her grandchildren, something we felt beyond language barriers. As a child I always wondered if it was her stubborn ways, but as an adult I realized she's just the badass matriarch of the familia Ramos.
But where does this leave me, and my pocha ways? With big responsibilities. If English makes us Mexican-American, what are we without Spanish?
Should some of us adopt a Spanish-only rule, I'm pretty sure that I don't have too far to go before I can fairly declare myself Mexican-American. But Spanish first.
This album. This man of music. Changed our world. It did. Forget about the people who didn't want change, the music played on. It always plays on. Lifting us from those momentary lapses to those places on mountain tops, or in those softly lit corners of the forests, the places we don't want to leave but we have to. Or do we have to? The music can always keep us there, free jazz always kept me there. The recording stops but the notes still play. And play. You can hear it around the corner from where you are now, I bet you didn't know there was 'an around the corner' from where you stand. Those are Coleman's corners. He built them to teach us how to listen. And we listen. LA still listens. Jazz is hardly dead. It's a part of life, the metamorphosis of our heroes, the creators of innovation and inspiration. He made this music, this free and divine magic carpet ride, and now he is his music. Eternal. Ornette Coleman is hardly dead, he's just becoming something else. Something eternal. Ornette Coleman was Jazz. Jazz will do anything but rest.