‘And there it is: a great skein of notes woven into a crazy quilt of such otherwise-inexpressible beauty that it can only exist because he weaves it. It wraps him and he feels warm within it. Like Norma’s hands when she loved him, like his Mama’s when he was a little boy. Like Harp’s when he put the bear-hug on this afternoon. Yeah, there’s some pain – in his gut, in his memory – but it don’t matter. He thinks of something somebody read him once, that he never forgot: The dying dream of ecstasy like the living dream of love.
Well, he’s dying. He’s entitled to dream of anything he wants.’
The Blues are rooted in the American mind and soul. Each era has its own, and each is both the same and different, just like the people who know them, and play them, and live them.
Here are five powerful stories exploring that mind and soul as they’ve evolved over the last seventy years.
Sonny’s Blues – A dying musician makes through his last days, through fragments of the past and present, always with the music playing.
Tio’s Blues – Two social misfits and the violence resulting from their trust and need for love.
Nighthawks – Four nighthawks confront each other in a racially charged story set in the late-night diner.
Animation – The comic, poignant story of a man in search of the meaning of his life – and of life itself. And a job.
The Easy Lovin’ Blues – A young woman connects two triangular relationships, one between her mother and her mother’s manipulative, young would‑be lover; the other between an aging trumpet player and his lover, a dominating and disturbed blues singer.