Cootie Loved Be-Bop

Written by Gloria Keeley

Louis Armstrong changed all the brass players around, but after Bird, all of the instruments had to change – drums, piano, bass, trombones, trumpets, saxophones, everything.” –Trumpeter Cootie Williams

his trumpet could chatter like
echoes of Harlem
along the corridors of Nah’Leans
out the mouth of Route 66
the band in sync
the reeds pure weed
blowing notes off key
sublime like jazz
discs spinning
sax on wax
trombone slides
roller coaster rides
up the midway
down the scale
finger zinger
plucking largo, then stretto
snap of skins
like bowling pins
in a back alley
the drum-smooth paradiddle
pawing up the fence
man those cats could play

About the author

Gloria Keeley is a former student of CCSF. She attended classes in the late sixties as a Drama major. She was editor of Forum Magazine in 1969. She taught for CCSF for 35 years. Gloria is back attending CCSF as a student, taking writing classes. She hopes to get her creative writing certificate soon.

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