Darling Dear is a tall thin woman wearing a slinky satin turquoise evening gown with stunning jewelry and very high strappy heels. She arrives alone at the jazz club where I am working the door, and takes a seat at a small round table in the front row.
The room around Darling Dear is completely dark, and although I can’t see anyone else in the club, I know the room is sold out. John Coltrane and his band are onstage and he is standing at the edge of the stage and directly in front of her, tenderly playing his saxophone prayer, “Dear Lord.”
As Darling Dear gazes at Coltrane adoringly, the music flows out of his gleaming sax and drapes lightly over her as a tender touch might, beginning at the top of her head and flowing gently over her entire body. As the musical seduction envelops her body each melodic phrase takes on a unique form and rhythm as it caresses her. Darling Dear is motionless, with her eyes closed, as she basks in Coltrane’s brilliance and affection.
I sit on the piano bench next to McCoy Tyner and watch him play with such forceful passion that the piano falls apart piece by piece under his intense demands, and the music continues to rise powerfully from the pile of rubble that was once an upright piano.