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Plastic Pattern People

This song is by Gil Scott-Heron and appears on the album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox (1970).

Glad to get high and see the slow motion world
Just to reach, and touch, the half notes floating
Worlds spinning orbit quicker than 9/8ths Dave Brubeck
We come now, frantically searching for Thomas Moore, rainbow villages
Up on suddenly, Charlie Mingus and our man Abdul Malik
To add bass, to a bottomless pit of insecurity

You may be plastic because you never meditate
About the bottom of glasses, The third side of your universe

Add on Alice Coltrane and her cosmic strains
Still no vocal on blue black horizons

Your plasticity is tested by a formless assault
The sun can answer questions in tune, to all your sacrifices
But why would our new jazz age give us no more mind expanding puzzles?

Enter John

Blow from under, always, and never, so that the morning, the sun
May scream of brain bending saxophones

The third world arrives, with Yusef Lateef, and Pharaoh Sanders
With oboes straining to touch the core of your unknown soul
Ravi Shankar comes, with strings attached, prepared to stabilize your seventh sense
Your black rhythm

Up and down a silly ladder run the notes, without the words
Words are important for the mind, but the notes are for the soul
Miles Davis, So what?
Cannonball, Fiddler, Mercy
Dexter Gordon, One Flight Up
Donald Byrd, playing Cristo, but what about words?

Would you like to survive on sadness? Call on Ella and Jose Happiness
Drift with Smokey, Bill Medley, Bobby Taylor, and Otis Redding
Soul music where frustrations are washed by drums, Nina and Miriam

Congo, Mongo, Beat me, senseless, bongo, Tonto
Flash through dream worlds of STP and LSD
Speed kills and sometimes musics call, is frustrated
And the black man is confused

Our speed is our life pace, much too fast, not good
I beg you to escape, and live, and hear all of the real
Until a call comes for you to cry elsewhere
We must all cry, but tell me

Must our tears be white?


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