God Plays Bass

In the last years of my dads life, his journey for meaning and peace guided him towards Rinzai Zen Buddhism. He was so proud when he became a priest, earning the name, Reverend Feng Huang or ‘The Phoenix That Flies On The Dragon’s Breath’. He had earned the title, but all his life, the man had thoughts…

One of these thoughts that stuck with me was his notion that “God Plays Bass”. Over and over again, he would bring this idea up. We would share late night discussions over cigars and sambuca on our screened in porch where we could feel the seasons. So many times, our talks came back to the Big Bang and to Genesis. We would draw parallels between each creation story to find our enlightenment. I remember the chills I felt when he observed that the text of Genesis asserts the existence of sound before all else.

“And God said let there be light”

When I moved on to college in Boston, this thread somehow followed me. Nearly every time I strutted down Newbury Street with my bass in tow, I would be accosted by a beast of a man the Berklee students endearingly named “The Newbury Strangler”. He would grab me by the shoulders and bellow the same phrase to me every…single…time:


I would have shrugged him off as a mere amusement had he not plucked a deeply meaningful phrase right from my childhood and screamed it at me every time I saw him. Where did he get that? Why is he saying that to me?

After holding me in silence, the man’s hands would then drop to his sides and he would just laugh and walk away…

God Plays Bass

by Reverend Feng Huang, Bill Cady

Hard Bops flowing out a barrelhouse door
In the sun, wind and rain,
Two musicians chart and stride
Who’s that you say?
Well, You know the Devil with his guitar and fiddles
But looky here why thats Divineness on the Bass.

Y’all heard the tale how the Devil plays prestissimo
Always scattin’ an ballin’ up the beat
But, Gods Bass riffs are set in largo
Cuz cool jazz sounds so Phat
His low pulsing boogie just sits there in the groove

That Devil’s been tailgating at the Crossroads
‘Cuz old Robert Johnson was lookin’ to gig eternity
Guitarist dueling with the Devil a work song rhapsody
‘Til the Devil lost to scale in by a classical progeny

Now, God keeps groovin’ a Psalmody
Gut confidence in his center
His pizzicato dynamics-running bottoms up
Absent any vibrato digs that silence is still a note
Man, his Bass lines never can be beat

Nocturnes in dissonance jives primordial bars
Phrase and pitch all ripples no bars and measures true
A Bass note stuck in Forte an opening chord or two
Thaw-thump! Thaw-Thump! Thaw-Thump!
Comes the Tone Poem to the score

Perceive his milieu bass notes!
Three notes theme the movement just waiting on a score
Gods fundamental frequencies sets the tempo of each bar
Laying down some tracks each measure a light year long

Yes, were all here ‘cuz the Man was Jazzing up the deep
Gods bass lines are the cool school that created reality
Striding downbeats by the meter long before luminosity
Till his concerto prodigy blasted forth a Star

Nothing but a Bass line from time eternity
That music forms a triad of tertial harmonies
Just a chill in the loft scene now called the Holy Trinity
What started as a bass note gave life to you and me!

Yes, were talking creation
Life, the Universe and Everything!
Gods Cosmic Gigantic Bass Note,
Implanted in our nature a noble faculty

The voice came by virtue of the bass cliff
Scored in consonants no melody
So, scat the words if you haft to
As long as you keep in harmony

So, Stop jive talkin’ cause musics in our soul
Were all in this together the fiddler, you and me
Lets all make the connection to the Harmonics
We can swing in syncopation just remember to keep the code

Life is a song, says Yidl shmiddle
It’s coolness in our solos, cakewalks, forms and modes
Even dissonant running countermelody
Will return us to his groove

God Plays Bass

That’s right man
God Plays Bass

So whats you say?
God Plays Bass

Come on
Let me hear you say it
God Plays Bass

Ooooooh yeaaaaaaaa!

Thaw thump

Thaw thump

Thaw Thump

Thaw Thump

Thaw Thump


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