For Jazz

                Clifford Brown

In some, the qualities come all combined:
Inventiveness both subtle and replete,
With fluent fingers an appraising mind,
A calm controlling the necessary heat
Which is the birthright of the instrument.
No-one had the least hard word to say
In his behalf. They liked his merriment,
His phrasing clean and agile as a cat at play.
In Stockholm, fifty-three, they stole him out
Down fire-escapes, defying Hampton’s view
On letting men record in Europe. In France
Their hearing him but once dispelled all doubt
The sessions should be set, as if they knew
To capture him today, while there was still the chance.