Today I decided to write in some color.  Blue for the Blues.  Red for Jazz.

I took care of my Mom after my wife passed in ’94.  The lady in the header photo… wife…..was known as Dallas’ Queen of Jazz until she transcended.  After my lady went on, her mother would tell people, “I lost my only daughter, but I gained a son.”  I thought likewise,  I had lost my sweet birth mother and my Beloved, but had gained a Mom I grew to love more and more, until she also was called by “her Lord.”  They both were a couple of characters.  My wife, Shirley Jean, was a phenomenon in Texas jazz during the latter part of the 20th Century.  A “mover, a shaker,” she had her finger on and her voice in about every jazz activity in the region, and around here, jazz and blues in those days mixed like a fine cocktail.  Mom also was a queen, actually given the title Queen of her church, and when she stepped out, she truly did look like a royal!

I was fortunate to be a part of that music scene, being married to such a respected artist, and got acquainted with a number of renowned musicians.  Cedar Walton would drop by to visit Shirley each time he was in his home town.  Shirley would always fix up a pot of chicken and dumplings for Dizzy Gillespie when he came through, and we threw a party in our home for Stanley Turrentine.  Just a sample from my memories of those years.  But I am not here to talk history today, but rather to speak about the efficacious, soothing medicine that jazz and blues brings to the willing patient.  From what I can tell, there are a whole lot of folks that need the elixir of jazz and blues!  It seems like the raging, muddy waters are just getting wider and more violent, do you agree?

My Mom used to shake her head, and say “These are some troubled times.”  She was around 90 then, so she had seen a lot.  I am actually glad she did not live to see what is going on today in America.  What got her through the rough spots of life, was prayer.  I am all for prayer myself, and pray that you pray in your own way, and let me and every other person pray as we individually wish.  I am a Buddhist, but one thing I know is that “the Kingdom of God is Within.”

Within each of us are all the potential tools we need to get through this corporeal life, and music is one such, and I would say a gloriously, wonderful tool (actually a bag of tools!).  Jazz and Blues are America’s music.  Blues begat Jazz, and Jazz is America’s Classical Music.  By listening to either or both, if one just “let’s go” she/he will be drawn into a matrix that is the Universe Itself,  to experience an infinitely colorful lightness of being, exploration, revelation and resolution, carried high and across over troubled waters – and then be deposited on the other side; and for some time thereafter, the raging, murky, troubled waters just dissipate into the sea of life.

So maybe this evening you should just kick back and put on some Trane, or some Yard Bird, and in between “do some” B.B. or Blue Bland.  Try it, you’ll like it!


If you would like to know more about Shirley McFatter’s music, please just visit the You Tube channel “Joe McFatter.”  Also, on Amazon search “Joe McFatter” in book authors.

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