Cascadia Poetics LAB

PAUL E NELSON

Going through Fatherhood a second time, there are many notions that go through my mind on a regular basis. One is what will be my youngest daughter’s earliest memory? I think about dancing in the kitchen to Charlie Christian with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, or to the Isley Brothers. I think about her leaning back, mouth open in joy, while on the swing in Lakewood Park, or all the Disney movies she watches, or the engagements I have with her mother, not always pleasant. There are those who believe the first childhood memory does not come until age 7, but I can tell you of events I remember from kindergarten.

I think she is a little bit of a screen addict. So it did not take long when I vacated my chair to see Ella in it to watch what I was watching, one of my favorite musician/composers EVER, Carla Bley with her beau, Steve Swallow playing a composition entitled Lawns.

So if that first memory IS Carla Bley, on some level I have done my work. In a male-dominated profession like Jazz composition, arranging and band leading, Carla Bley is up there with Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Count Basie. She is an original, a creative genius and quite intelligent, the qualities you want in a role model for your kid. 

Ella watches Carla

Ella watches Carla

2.21.15 – Her first memory could be Carla Bley’s Lawns or what hides behind bangs.

2.21.15 – Carla Bley gets ideas for melodies listening to chickens.