“Finally Beiderbecke took out a silver cornet. He put it to his lips and blew a phrase.
The sound came out like a girl saying ‘yes’.”
– Eddie Condon on Bix Beiderbecke
For you who shone under the blue lights,
there was the Southside.
An electric Saturday night along The Stroll
and you coaxing sound out of that horn
like a woman saying yes.
This sound was aggressive but mellow,
and oak-barrel smooth.
Some accounts say you first heard jazz
when it floated up the Mississippi
on whitewashed riverboats
and you, still a boy, leaned in
from the levee, enchanted,
and prostrated yourself to the goddess.