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JP1000

When I was 21 I worked the midnight shift. I stood watch over military secrets at RCA when they were involved in the AEGIS Program. I was told I was guarding highly important information regarding national security. It was strictly hush-hush. Highly confidential. "The Pink Flamingo Flies at Dawn" type stuff. I couldn't have been more bored.

Some nights I'd bring my guitar out to the post. Other nights I'd just wander around in the darkness with my radio blinking. Considering my pay it was clear that I was highly expendable. The blinking radio in the dark just confirmed my suspicions.

It was on one of these nights that I had tuned in to the local jazz station. When you're looking out at the stars, late night jazz always sounds like communication from another planet.

The DJ on this particular night had just received the latest recording from a local piano player named Don Pullen. The DJ was obviously mesmerized by one track in particular. It was called 'Gratitude'. He played the song over and over and over. As soon as the song would end, he'd start it again.

This went on for hours. And as crazy as it seems, I couldn't stop listening. I knew it was unusual. I even wondered if something had happened to the DJ. Had he died at the controls? Was anyone listening to this station but me? Should I call and find out?

To be honest, I didn't want to know. Frankly, I didn't care. The song was that powerful!

As far as I could discern the song consisted of just piano and alto sax. Very slow. Very moody. Very gospelly. It sounded like a cross between 'His Eye is on the Sparrow' and 'Stardust'. It soon dawned on me that this was one of the most beautiful songs I had ever heard. There were no words – just the deep, dark, somber sound of a piano and saxophone talking to one another. Communicating something much larger than life. Communicating gratitude.

I realized that night that it was possible to move a mountain of pain without breaking a sweat. To turn torrential tides back against the sea with merely a soft, gentle whisper. I realized that night how exciting music can be ...

 
 
Current Music: Don Pullen - The Sixth Sense