The songs that we sing

Each musician, simultaneously, takes the lead; each musician simultaneously follows.

It all blends in a mosaic, like a painting where the nearby shapes and colors make a portrait from afar.

The rhythm guitar, sometimes, plays like piano, and the keyboard instrument a guitar. The “lead” guitarist is at once Chuck Berry, Coltrane, Miles, and banjo player at the county fair. Although the instrument he plays is string it could as easily have been woodwind.

If the idea of convergence resonates to some in our time — as manifest, for instance, in Apple’s multi-form devices, its healthcare, automotive and financial service directions, in Amazon’s diversity of business lines, the juxtaposition of commerce and entertainment, hardware and software, and so on — this may have started with the band.

If the idea of community now stands for something other than one’s neighborhood, that also has its parallels in this cultural curiosity.

“The important changes,” Garcia once observed, “have already happened.”