I am so devastated by this loss that I don’t even have the time to do the usual due diligence of listing credits.
So poised, elegant, admirable, fabulous, fantastic… could scat/vocalese just as stratospherically as Ella Fitzgerald.
From seeing her at Ontario Place’s Amphitheatre in the ’70s, whilst she did her funky soul diva incarnation, to the sheer brilliance of her sophisticated Jazz syncopation, there was no one else who could make me feel more fuck-all fabulous pride and take seriously this joint call being Black.
Natalie got to the very essence of who we, a proud noble people, truly are. Her album: Take A Look (1993) literally afforded me the grace and dignity to get through the most hellish experience of being in a workplace surrounded by people who haven’t a clue that they are crazy – a people who collectively render us as invisible and who relish at every opportunity the racially predatory thrill of talking about us and openly ridiculing us as though we were a weeble-infested bag of flour in the corner. These marvellous people for whom the gun is g_d incarnate and for whom it has never once occurred that we possibly could perceive them as crazy – crazy as in having invented something as absurd as Apartheid, crazy in openly gunning us down because well… one can, crazy as in busing, crazy as in building latter day landlocked Mayflowers whose hull hold a cargo that staves off the flowering of the next Coltrane, Tatum, Monk, Ellington et al… crazy as in harvesting a most strange fruit from poplar trees whilst crazily dressed up in the coward’s garb from pointy head to toe, crazy as in then having the fuck-all temerity to squat all over the culture and ape, ape, ape like crazy every thing we do culturally, creatively…. alas, who else but the crazy would openly hate you then turn around and ape everything you do from Jazz, to Hip-Hop, to Rap and all the while, like the truly crazy then somehow think that we never notice that they never ever have personal relations with Blacks… la Krall, Bublé and Eminem to name but a few readily come to mind.
Every day in Vancouver, for having survived and gotten one day closer to triumphantly getting through 24 months of workplace probation, it was to my lovely art-filled West End apartment that I retreated where this lovely beauteous-eyed goddess, Natalie Cole, would greet me with a voice that would truly embalm the soul from the bilious dissonance of the racial predator – those who haven’t a fucking clue that they are crazy… And how the crazy people love to laugh at everything.
Sweet and blissful dreams dear Natalie, you proud noble griot who came to remind us that we are the most beautiful lotus to have flowered from the hellish swamp known as the semi-feral well-armed racial predator’s paradise. What a positively rich, layered, textured, august life you accomplished…
A better place this world, a more grounded people we are, for you having chosen to be focussed herein at this time, in this place.
*As I had always planned on doing Natalie Cole’s Michael Overleaves, they had not been done at the time of her passing and my having penned this impassioned tribute. A couple of weeks later when her overleaves arrived, it was one of the rare times that on receiving someone’s overleaves that I broke down crying. I always felt strongly connected to this woman – she was family. Here then, at this juncture, though they have been added previously and subsequent to this original post – it is now December 2016 as I change the copyright time stamp – are Natalie Cole’s rather august Michael Overleaves.
There are these little things that bind us for being entity and cadre mates… at the end of the video for Route 66 which accompanies this tribute post, Natalie Cole can be heard saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” This is precisely what fellow artisan and entity mate Attila Isaksen and I would repeat to each other as a greeting or when slipping out of inner musings after long pleasurable sexual play…
©2013-2017 Arvin da Braga. All Rights Reserved.