It’ll be almost a week and I’m still incorporating, into my life, the message delivered by the Cosmic Vibrations, this past Sunday, at the Blue Whale. Listening to and watching percussionist Derf Retlaw, totally immersed in the essence of pulsating rythym, altered pitches and unspoken words thst emanated from each beat as he struck those drums with hands tempered by the practice and desire for profound perfection.
Staring in awe at Breeze Smith, at his flawlessness in switching from bell to cymbal to rattle to gong and to every other sound making implement in his vast array of instrumentation, and wondering how he kept up with everybody else while improvisationally, with exhuberant expertise, doing what he do at the same time.
Experiencing John B. Williams for the first time and realizing that the subtle yet outspoken nuances of handbone and upright bass can be harmoniously meshed, but only by one who has mastered both art forms to the degree where you know he knows what he’s talking about, cause you can hear what he’s saying through the sounds.
Then there’s Christopher Garcia, another first time hearing for me but certainly not the last, cause I heard and saw the spirit of his connection to the earth, to the soil from which we all come, and to the cosmos of which we are all a part. He reminded me through the sound of instrument and voice, of who and what I am and that I need to be reminded of that aspect of self again and again.
Pablo Calogero, our first meeting as well yet his postulation of vibratory sounds through the medium of that clandestine wooden piccolo, that monumental yet unimposing bass flute, and the bass clarinet a seemingly rare yet integral part of the repertoire of sound, flowed with such elegance and grace, while from time to time awakening me to a heretofore unheard articulation, that let me know that there’s much more that I have yet to hear.
Then of course Dwight Trible, creator of sound that another might at best mimic, yet never duplicate. Purveyor of lyrical profundity that speaks volumes to our role in making right a situation that we are an integral part of, by both contributing to and continually suppporting through our continuum of complacency.
I would certainly be remiss if I did not make mention of the standing room only crowd that participated and became a part of the surge and resurgence of energy that continued after the actual music had stopped, and its very essence followed us to the elevator, out into the streets, and stayed with us in the car ride home and beyond.
What is my major objective here? Well, I got a chance to interview Breeze Smith and Dwight Trible the Wednesday before the concert. I got a chance to witness their uncompromising humility, their undying love and fervent dedication to their craft, and their unrelenting respect for the musical expertise and willingness to give of themselves that they expressed as perpetuatingly present in every member of their group. So I’m here to tell you that everything they said they are, everything that they desired to convey during that interview, was made exponentially present on last Sunday night. Their commission to make the world a better place, to make real the dream shared by Martin Luther King more than fifty years ago, their sharing with others the desire for freeedom divinely given yet restricted by those in a position to do so, and their assurance to all of us that no dream need be deferred because we have the power to make any and all of them a reality.
Thank you Cosmic Vibrations for allowing me the opportunity to make your objective my own, and I say to all others who read and listen to what I have to share… you won’t feel it the way I did unless you’re present where it is. Whenever and wherever you hear the Cosmic Vibrations are, do them, me and yourselves a service by being wherever that is.
Calvin Gantt is an Interfaith Minister, writer, and Talk Show Host at KUCI 88.9FM in Irvine.