the jazz tubist

Me and fifty-nine others hanging around, strung out as a slow carousel, going with the flow. Some brassy artist formed the band, marched us in here to play the kind of crushed instrumentals you hear with your eyes. After all, jazz is all flat notes in perpetual motion. I’m the only one who can face the music though.

You can spot me surely. OK with a kind of ostentatious matador hat pulled down, I’m sort of obscured. It’s all about mood, a cloud of intrigue – one time it would be a pall of smoke too but those noir days when we all lit up are long gone. Whatever you do, don’t call me ‘tuba’ – that’s for fatties and I’m straight out of a Jack Vettriano bar. A jazz tubist see? Full to the brim. Now check those slit eyes – here’s looking at you. Pugnacious? Sure there’ve been brawls – a man’s not a man without something to show for it – a broken nose, a crooked smile. But I can still blow. Winded but not wounded, winding down and around with the crowd. Sometimes I even get to take a solo break.

gallery of light
north borne by easterly seas
vivid vibes of brass

Art  installation at Turner Contemporary of compressed trumpets, cornets, tubas and other instruments In the artist Cornelia Parker’s words: ‘the band may be winded, but they’re not down and out: they’re still marching.’ – Perpetual Canon

A touch of pareidolia in poesy – seeking out the one en-masse for qbit’s guest hosting of dVerse haibun Monday


  1. I so enjoyed this, Laura! I could imagine an anti-Tubby-the-Tuba talking out of the side of his mouth! I love the ‘crushed instrumentals you hear with your eyes’ and ‘jazz is all flat notes in perpetual motion’.


  2. I’ve often wondered what kind of kid chooses the tuba as their first instrument. I love jazz, but the tuba doesn’t show up often; love to hear a hot tuba solo.


  3. Awesome! Say it loud, say it proud with a tuba! “strung out as a slow carousel” is fabulous. I love jazz tuba, amazing stuff. The Haiku of brassy wind is so good too.


      1. I was in the local Jr. And sr.high matching band. Although lighter than the brass ones, the white fiberglass ones took over due to cost, lightness in carrying, and the amount of breath it took to get the sound out. This was in the mid-70’s. Now it is rare to see the costly all brass tubas


  4. “Winded but not wounded, winding down and around with the crowd.” Jazz and poetry always works! Even crushed jazz. Laura, you laid it out straight ahead… not easy with twisted instruments. The story-line is spot on for this genre; wouldn’t do for rock or blues. Great write.


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