My farmers’ market is on 97th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues — on Friday mornings from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — much smaller than Union Square but sufficient with our favorite, noble farmers who are recognized weekly: Jeff, who brings the sweetest carrots and fresh spinach; the big lady of indeterminate gender (having a black moustache) with young zucchini and cucumbers; the two heavily bearded farmers with the most amazing tomatoes; and at the end, the fishmonger from Montauk and the fruit farmer with Fuji apple juice and the Mirabelle wild plums that can send fumes to the brain they are so exquisite!
Backing this plethora of bounty is usually a three-piece jazz trio.
About 10 a.m. one Friday morning there was an amazing sound seeming to come from the sky catching the riff, the rhythm completely in sync and time with the trio on the ground. It was a horn! They were not expecting this intense ostinato. It was so intense, so profoundly opulent and so loud that I became dizzy and held onto some melons to keep from falling onto my knees. It was the hot sounds, the blaring of the hot alto saxophone thrusting through the day. I was dizzy as I looked skyward in ecstasy.
I looked up expecting Gabriel holding the archangels in tow, but rather on a 10th floor balcony there was a tall man in red plaid pajamas playing an alto saxophone that was glistening and glowing, so polished in the morning sun looking as if it were made of gold, a really salty and hard-driving alto saxophone. Sliding over punchy, jagged phrases, furthering my intense responses.
This was a dose, a sensual breakout, a moment that was more immediate and intense than if Miles Davis, Maceo Parker, Horace Silver, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond and all the jazz musicians that make me crazy were there—this was a dose! Glorious in its impact, volume, and my experience, suggesting another world, soaring above us as echoing and fully asserting sound as if we were in the Grand Canyon!
Right here and now on 97th Street at our farmers’ market! On a Friday morning!
What a dose!