370 words

David Garlitz has travelled the world in search of a sound. Raised on a strict diet of Thelonius Monk, Parliament Funkadelic, and the Muppets, he left his native Plymouth, NH, and headed for Philadelphia, home of the Sun Ra Arkestra.


There he fell in with a bad element, the kind of no-good riffraff who scoff at functional harmony and laugh in the face of regular meter. But just as he was about to topple into the abyss of avant-garde free-jazz, he was saved by the loping gait of an Afro-Cuban bass line. Irretrievably hooked, he set sail for Havana, where he learned to play the tres and the rhythms of the sacred bata.


It was there that he met Cécile, the charming French exchange student who would become his Muse. Their eyes first met in a small-town jail cell just west of Havana, and it was le coup de foudre, the “lightning bolt” : the Big Love. He followed her breathlessly to Paris, where at last he began to write.


His concoctions took on the form of the city around him, blending layers from past and present. A most “thelonius” melody became tangled up in a Cuban changüi, while a bass line headed for the Mothership collided with Rocket Number 9, spilling waves of cacophony into a cool bossa nova…


Knowing he had at last found the sound that he had been looking for, Garlitz clutched his creations tight to his chest and set out to find a band of worthy partners-in-crime. He found his rhythm section, drummer Karl Jannuska and bassist Matyas Szandai, playing half-time funk on a full-time houseboat. Thomas Savy, sax, and Josiah Woodson, trumpet, were snapping their fingers to a waltz that no one else could hear down on rue Morgue. As for the backup singers, Alison Young and Sarah-Lane Roberts : they owed their souls to a secondary demon, who traded them in for a few gold coins and a clean pair of socks.


His creation complete, Garlitz would soon release it into the universe. “Young Bloods, Green Beans, and Spring Chickens” entered our atmosphere on May 17th. People of Earth, don’t forget to wear your sunglasses.


191 words

Raised on a strict diet of Thelonius Monk, Paul Simon, and the Muppets, David Garlitz left his native Plymouth, New Hampshire, for the big city of Philadelphia to study Jazz. His thirst for dissonance unquenched by the likes of Cole Porter and the Gershwins, he soon fell in with a bad crowd, the sort of no-good ruffians who scoffed at tonality and laughed in the face of regular meter. Luckily, his fluency in Spanish (thanks to two years in Madrid as a child) landed him a part-time gig in a Latin band, and he was saved from the swirling abyss of avant-garde free-jazz by Afro-cuban rhythms.

Irretrievably hooked, he took salsa lessons, learned to play the Cuban tres, and studied the sacred rhythms of the batá. Between clandestine trips to Havana and Santiago de Cuba, he met Cécile, a French exchange student who would become his muse and one true love. He followed her breathlessly to Paris, where he has been ever since, sipping Cuban rum and burgundy wine in sidewalk cafés, crafting curious little songs that bring a smile to the lips and a glow to the heart.