There is a strong desire for a Mindfulness of our Ancestors. Here is the last week of the year, the ending of the first decade of the new century, and a little further distancing from the 20th century. Indeed, western civilization has made its baby steps into a new millennium of media. And yet, old ideas take so long to relinquish themselves.

Time is a wondrous thing. The more I get, the more I want – it seems. (Maybe.) Time allows for greater awareness and deeper understanding. Time also has the tendency to expose our shortcomings. We remember what we haven't done, what we cannot do again, and what we would have done differently. Nevertheless... we do; and time flows on. We must be doing something right, right...?

Dear Reader, I thank you again for joining me here. I take this opportunity to consider what our Ancestors would say of us, now. Daniel Moses Barker was what we just might call, a “bridge man.” He straddles time and seasons; running the gauntlet... riding the rough & rocky road to Gloryland – all on a stream of consciousness that extends far beyond his 85 years of breathing.

Sylvia Barker, “The Daughter” had an inscribed bronze plaque cemented into the red brick exterior of 1027 Chartres Street – the birthplace of Danny Barker (the rear dwellings known as the “slaves' quarters.”) Never short of a turn of phrase herself, Sylvia described her father with these words:

'African-American Creole guitar and banjo player, songwriter, singer, author, historian, teacher, storyteller, humorist, actor and painter. Jazz Hall of Fame member, Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Music Masters Award and numerous other honors. Played on over 1,000 records of Jazz, Swing, Blues, Bebop, and Traditional. Husband of legendary singer Blu Lu Barker.'

African-American Creole...!

All that I will say on the matter: Danny Barker was raised by Creoles. La Famille Barbarin.

Barbarin.wav

Old Danny seems to be carefully approaching the words to describe his grandfather, Isidore Barbarin – whom Danny was close to from the age of around seven; after his mother remarried and took her son home to the 7th Ward from the Barker household in the quarter.

Isidore Barbarin (born September 24th, 1872) was a highly respected fixture of the Downtown Orleans Parish community. Danny tells us more... in the chapter entitled, Isidore Barbarin – from the pages of, A Life In Jazz.

Isidore was an easygoing, cool-tempered man. He had fathered nine children: five girls and four boys. I guess behind all that child raising it was a natural attitude for a man to be callous to just about anything, especially excitement.

It is easy to understand how Danny would have a clear picture of looking up to this man.

Isidore was a light-colored man about six feet tall, always neat and well-groomed. He wore dark suits tailored to his exact measurements, and soft black shoes. He had extra-large brown eyes which were very piercing and always looked everyone in conversation in direct focus.

Isidore Barbarin played cornet and alto horn and worked with the mighty Onward Brass Band. Danny states rather plainly.

At the Barbarin home the main topic of daily conversation was music.

'Son do' brings everything he's got to the table.

One day at lunch time, which was every day from twelve to one, my grandmother served my uncles and myself at the large table. As soon as I received my plate I picked it up and went over and sat with my grandfather, Isidore, blessed my food (which my uncles never did), and started a conversation about music then horses. He spoke and answered my questions and did some explaining. All was very quiet and I looked around at my young uncles and my grandmother, who was standing with her hands on her hips looking at me in utter surprise. My uncles were laughing silently at my nerve - “sitting at the king's table.” My grandmother said in French, “Now I've seen everything.” I kept up the serious questioning until the meal was over. My grandfather said to my grandmother in French, “That boy's got plenty sense.”

Here's to time... and patience... and sense.

Here's to being... raised right.

Peace & Pops,
Esquizito
Maison Musique, New Orleans
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P.s. Here's to life... here's to love... here's to you...

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Comment by Esquizito on January 5, 2010 at 12:56am
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Creole Songs

I have heard many tales and theories that jazz music came from slaves on the Southern plantations, but when I was a small boy in the Creole section of New Orleans, I heard folks singing whole songs from top to bottom in French and Patois, just like you hear Bing Crosby singing Blue Skies or I Got Rhythm. These songs were full of spirit and had a beat, and on Mardi Gras Day, you would hear groups of maskers singing in Creole Patois and dancing the Bombouche (Bom-bu-shay.) The West Indian islanders do the same dance at their social affairs in New York City. I heard these songs all over the neighborhood. Catholic Creole women doing house work and nursing their babies sing these songs and not the protestant hymns and spirituals. I used to wonder about these colored people singing French songs. Most of these songs seemed to ridicule someone and if you listened intently you could bet you'd hear the phrase "moi chere".

Moi Cheres... listen intently to a never-heard live recording of Eh La Bas! It's over there on my Main Page.

Peace,
E.

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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.

I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.

My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."

Let's be audacious, my friends!

Buster Williams


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