• I Put A Spell On You

It was Saturday, the second day of the jazzfest’s first weekend in New Orleans. The day hardly started at noon, I already got tired from the laming heat, from running from stage to stage at the Fair Ground. I granted myself a short break just strolling around, watching the passing indians, in their magnificent, beautiful uniqe suits, while enjoying the end of every line, being /of course/ always the last among the half of a million patient festival goers to get to drink something cold /Please!/ (at least there were no beverage tickets to pick up before you had to wait in line for the second time, as it was to do in Chicago at the blues festival), then to eat something warm, pies, filled with some kind of meat (I think it was alligator), it tasted fine, I liked it. The food was delicious, everytime and everywhere. I liked everything I ate, but the cajun Jambalaya was my most favorite. I could have eaten that all day long, everyday. I had a very strict schedule, hardly some idle time, if I wanted to catch with my camera lens (for my blues photo database in build-up phase) all the bands and singers, I had choosen from the line up, which I studied still at home. I did research on their music and put an mp3 sampler together, only one song on the CD from each performing artist I wanted to see at the fest, so I calculated with fifty-five gigs within twenty-four hours. There were so many (too many) to choose from. Big names, but also (I) never-heard-about-yet newcomers. The fest was like a gumbo, a hotpot of every kind of music, farraginous with jazz to funk, from blues to gospel on seven open stages and under several tents. Yesterday I was running many of empty miles, just to find them, today I already knew, where to go. The sun reached it’s high point to shine, as I heard some funky beats from the nearest stage. It made me curious who is playing there, although they were not included in my personally line-up. I couldn’t see the band yet, I had to cut my way through the wild dancing and clapping crowd to the media entry. As I got within the narrow cordon (strictly conrolled by the security),  I looked upon the stage, and what I saw, staggered me on the spot. A Nubian Goddess turned and whirled around a baarfooted dervish dance, like a woodoo witch, like a mighty „Five“. You. Your dark waterfall-long dreadlocks followed tumbling the wind, drawing a circuit of magic around you. I was captivated and stunned. I never felt such a mind-blowing energy-flow during any act I saw till today. I didn’t see such an inspiring performance yet, as I had not seen yet such a thrilling exotic beauty either. The sunshine coated your creole skin and was reverberated so it gleamed like gold, just like your „Janis-like“ number of dozen wristbands. I was electrified by the explosive beats and by the vast number of tones you charmed out in a spirited way from a simple cow bell. I listened attentively surprised as I suddenly heard the distinctive, deep, gravelly voice Louis Armstrong’s singing „What A Wonderful World“. I looked around, where the sound came from, till I realized, that it was your voice. It was hardly to believe that the most perfect Satchmo imitation I ever heard, was sung by a petite woman. I was standing in front of the stage, my feet felt like rooted into the dry earth, unable to move. I was jinxed. Just a few steps away from you, I tried to follow your capricious moves through the screen of my camera, to catch the perfect harmony of the floating moment in still photography, to catch the jaunty joy of a little schoolgirl, you looked like in some stealthy moments, your big, broad, everything-makes-better smile, your vibrant brown eyes. I tried to catch you. You were laughing and screaming almost awesome haggish „I Put A Spell On You“ and although I was not aware of it yet, the effect of the hoodoo magic, you put on me, did start to work.

SCREAMIN JAY HAWKINS • I PUT A SPELL ON YOU

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