I read Slumberland last September in one evening.
Yes, it was that good. Its a book about a DJ who makes the
perfect beat and sets off to Germany on a mission to find a jazz
artist, the Schwa, to make it complete.
Race, Hitler, Jazz, Interacial Dating, Porn, you ask for it, its in this book.
My favorite part is when he gets to Wynton Marsalis,
who, for the record, doesn’t care for hip hop.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that I have a critique
for just about everyone. Feminist’s, hip hop, Black people,
my moms, my peers, other bloggers, white folks, the hood.
In fact, my rationale is that if you aren’t critiquing it,
then you probably don’t love or understand it.
Imagine my surprise when Paul brings it to Wynton.
I hate Wynton the same way Rommel hated Hitler. Whenever
I hear Marsalis’s trumpet playing I feel like the Desert Fox
forced to come to grips with the consequences of
totalitarianism after the war has been all but lost. At east Rommel
had Wagner. All I’ve got is Wynton. His musical Valkeries arrive
not on winged steeds but astride caged birds.
Wynton Marsalis reminds me that I was born wearing the wrong
uniform. That I am a Negro-Nazi, who only being a DJ and not
a general or politician or a movie director, is at best a functionary
or house party gauleiter.
The existentialist’s stay that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in
the jungles of Mauritania can cause a hurricane in the plains
of Kansas, but a high C from Wyntons Marsalis’s trumpet
doesn’t even change your mood much less your mind. And I
don’t know whether or not Marsalis’s music is an allegory for
race, American Democracy, or black fascism, but I do
know that the Schwa’s music is anarchy. It’s Somalia. It’s the
Department of Motor Vehicles. Its Albert Einsteins hair.
How ironic, that Wyntons new book is titled, get this,
Moving to a Higher Ground, How Jazz Can Change Your Life.
This is why, ladies and gents, Paul Beatty is a genuis.