I was told as a child Blacks had no worth, Not a nickel’s worth of dimes. I believed that myth ‘Til Dex rode in With his ax In double time.
His horn was soarin’, The changes flyin’, His rhythm right on time; My heart Beat with the pleasure Of new found pride, Knowing, His blood Flowed through mine.
Dex Took the chords The keyboard played, And danced around each note; Then shuffled ‘em Like a deck of cards, And didn’t miss a stroke.
B minor 7 with flatted 5th, a half diminished chord, He substituted a lick in D, Then really began to soar.
He tipped his hat To Charlie Parker, and quoted Trane with Miles, Then paid his homage to Thelonious Monk, In Charlie Rouse’s style.
He took a Scrapple From The Apple, Then went to Billie’s Bounce, The rhythm section, now on fire, But he didn’t budge an ounce.
He just dug right in to shuffle again, This time A Royal Flush, Then lingered a bit Behind the beat, Still smokin’ But in no rush.
Then he doubled the time just like this rhyme, in fluid 16th notes, tellin’ Charlie and Lester, “your baby boy, Dexter’s, on top of the bebop you wrote.”
Wailin’ like a banshee, this prince of saxophone, His ballads dripped of honey, His Arpeggios were strong.
Callin’ on his idles, Ghost of Pres’ within in the isles, smiling at his protege, At the peak of this new style.
His tenor Drenched of Blackness, And all the things we are– Of pain, and pleasure, And creative greatness Until his final bar.