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To Leon Bismark “Bix!” Beiderbecke

Your name doesn’t require anything else.
Not Mister, not Maestro. No.
It’s Bix

I know Joe Venuti cared for you and helped you out.
Once I listened to him play in Milan. And thus I connected my life to your, you know, being near to Joe Venuti made me closer to you.

You, the prince of my Magnificent four.

The emperor Louis.
Prince Bix.
The Incomparable Jack.
The Panther Bechet.

We, the ones who loved you, are so many, Bix.
In life and after.
But it wasn’t possible to save you any further.
I think of you as you were, as for the few pictures, and as you remained. Not like Chet, projected into the future on a sailing boat at Newport, just to find himself ending up like a wretched skull.
At least this, to you, was spared.

Bix, have you seen (have they projected it up there?) that beautiful film that Avati made you? I have even seen three times that American documentary on your life… beautiful. And I tried to enter the scenes, to warn you about the dangers, to suggest you the right answers, but the film is unmovable as granite and entering it is not allowed.

So you were alone, and remained alone.
Maybe you are in a different place.
Maybe you are in the Paradise of poets.

Bix.

Yours,
Duccio