“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” – Vol. 9

July 8th, 2020

.

.

.

“Nat King Cole: The Shadow of the Word” is one of several photo-narratives in Charles Ingham’s new series devoted to his love of jazz music, “Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives”

These photo-narratives are provocative and meaningful– connecting time, place, and subject in a way that ultimately allows the viewer a unique way of experiencing jazz history.

To enhance the opportunity for appreciation of this artistic series, in the coming weeks “Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” will be featured  on Jerry Jazz Musician three-at-a-time, and will include the artist’s description of each piece.

.

.

This edition’s narratives, found below the artist’s introduction, are:

.

“Nat King Cole: The Shadow of the Word”

“Slain in Cold Blood”

“Local 767: The Black Musicians’ Union”

 

 

.

.

_____

.

.

Charles Ingham introduces his “Jazz Narratives” series

.

…..Jazz has always been there for me. Music is an essential part of my life, and I have eclectic tastes, but there has always been jazz music. At seventeen, I’m at a Rahsaan Roland Kirk concert in my hometown of Manchester, England, stunned by the transgressive beauty of this man’s performance. At fifty-seven, my wife has died, and I can’t bear to hear lyrics, so it’s Kind of Blue and Trane ballads. And today I’m listening to ‘Round Midnight, Monk alone at the piano, stunningly honest and almost unbearably intimate.

…..So as an artist I need to give something back, but make it my own, and make it new.

…..As a conceptual artist, my photo-narratives are hybrid forms, transgressing distinctions between the verbal and the visual: the image as text. My art represents a combinatory aesthetic; each work constitutes a whole made up of parts, creating something of a symbiosis: the words, the images (abstract and referential), the space between images, the subjects, the reference to specific individuals, places, or times. As the artist Alexis Smith says of her collages and assemblages: “It’s fused into a whole where they seem like they’ve always been together, or were meant to be together. The people that look at them put them together in their heads.” Some visual references are obvious; some of the bones, sinews, and other connective tissue that hold a particular narrative together work within the piece’s own logic, a logic that viewers find for themselves. Here, the artist makes the work, and that work has an agenda, but a significant part of that agenda is for the viewer to find something of (or for) themselves within these images and words.

…..Each work in this series of “Jazz Narratives” is anchored by a person (a musician) and a related place. I am especially interested in the “aura” of these places. Sometimes, the place remains relatively unchanged seventy years after the musical fact; sometimes, only a physical street number remains, if that. What matters is that, for the artist and the viewer, this aura remains. This, say, is 151 Avenue B, on the Lower East Side; the brownstone is easy to miss if you are walking along the east side of Tomkins Square Park, but if you know that Charlie Parker lived there, it has become something more than the stone and glass of the place. 4201 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, is an anonymous mixed-use building, but there’s the number above the glass doors; 4201 S. Central is the Downbeat Club. Here, in 1945, Clora Bryant first heard bebop: here, on this corner, and that corner is still here, as is that night and all those other nights.

…..Some years ago in Brooklyn, I went looking for 99 Ryerson Street, where the poet Walt Whitman had lived when Leaves of Grass was first published. The fact that Whitman had lived here had only recently been discovered, and the 1850s wood-frame house was unmarked and unchanged except for aluminum siding and the addition of an extra floor. It is the only surviving Whitman residence in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Standing on the original bluestone sidewalk slabs, I was looking at Whitman, whose vision of America was a primary reason for my decision to emigrate to the United States. In my excitement, I crossed the street and spoke to an elderly man sitting on the stoop opposite. “Do you know that Walt Whitman lived in that house?” I asked, clearly appearing to be a madman. The neighbor looked up at the crazy person: “Is that the guy who is renting a room?” For him, the aura was not visible.

…..These pieces are works of homage; I am making some kind of unsentimental pilgrimage to each of these apparently anonymous street addresses. And I am conjuring ghosts; they are still alive in these places as they are in their recordings. The music may have been recorded in 1947, but they are playing it now. You can hear that. And, if I am successful, you can see the musicians in my art.

.

_____

.

.

 

 

.

Nat King Cole: The Shadow of the Word

(401 South Muirfield Road, Los Angeles)

2020

.

 

…..

…..Arriving on Central Avenue from Harlem, the pianist Gerald Wiggins said of Nat Cole, “[Y]ou ain’t never heard such piano. Oh, man. He was a good player. I was sorry he started singing.”

…..Of course, Wig is not the only one to express such regret, a regret that for some would become outright condemnation at Cole’s “selling out” to popular music and abandoning the intense, improvisational freedom at the keyboard that seemed to be leading the pianist toward bebop.

…..However, Cole’s transition from hip to square (if that is what it was) did not necessarily make life easy for Nat King Cole (even if there is an ethnic subtext in “hip to square”). The Coles moved into 401 South Muirfield Road in August 1948, and, as is well known, their Hancock Park neighbors’ racist attacks became well-organized and vicious. A sign with the words “N-word Heaven” was posted on the front lawn of the Coles’ Tudor mansion; their dog was poisoned; a shot was fired through a window in November. For Nat Cole, born in Montgomery, Alabama, such tactics were not unfamiliar, but on one occasion his Chicagoan wife Maria chased off cross burners while dressed in a nightgown and wielding a rolled-up newspaper.

…..When Hancock Park was established in the 1920s, it was put under a 50-year restrictive covenant, which stated that non-whites could not live in the neighborhood, unless they were servants; however, in May 1948, the Supreme Court decision in Shelly v. Kramer rendered segregated housing illegal. Nat and Maria knew this.

…..The attacks on the Coles’ house diminished, but Cole’s oldest child, Carole, remembered the N-word being burned into the front lawn: “The shadow of that word was just always there.” Will Friedwald, in his 2020 biography of Nat King Cole, notes that Carole “meant that literally, not symbolically.”

…..The Coles’ neighbors in this “last WASP enclave” of LA could go back to listening to the Nat King Cole records that had been in their dens all this time.

 

.

.

___

.

.

 

.

Slain in Cold Blood

(4071-4075 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles)

2020

.

…..Founded by John J. Neimore in 1879 as The Owl, the newspaper was intended to serve the burgeoning black population of Los Angeles during the Great Migration. Purchased by Charlotta Bass upon Neimore’s death in 1912, the paper was renamed the California Eagle, and owned and operated by Bass until 1951. Having once boasted a circulation of 60,000, the West’s oldest African-American newspaper, the Eagle ceased publication in 1964.

…..As the viewer will see from the headlines on the front page of the November 1943 issue of the Eagle, the newspaper was a pioneering force in the multi-ethnic civil rights movement. The all-too familiar story about the “Trigger Happy’ Cop” attests to the paper’s position, as does the story “Critical Housing Crisis and Job Bias Viewed With Alarm.” The article “Thousands March Against Smith; 49 Pickets Nabbed” covers protesters surrounding Polytechnic High School, where Gerald L. K. Smith was due to speak. Smith, an extreme-right clergyman, racist, and anti-Semite, formed the America First Party and joined the pro-Nazi Silver Shirts organization, patterned after Hitler’s brown shirts. At the time of the article, Poly was located downtown, on the corner of Washington Boulevard and Flower, two miles northwest of the Eagle’s office on Central Avenue. Graduating six years before this article, Tom Bradley, LA’s only African-American mayor, Tom Bradley, had been a student at Polytechnic High School.

…..In 1942, Bass would be interrogated by the Department of Justice, following entirely logical claims that the paper was funded by Japan and Germany. The FBI, perceiving Bass to be a Communist, monitored her activities into her nineties.

…..Although Bass is often regarded as the first African-American to own and operate a newspaper in the United States, the anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells became editor and co-owner of the Memphis newspaper The Free Speech and Headlight in 1889. This fact should in no way detract from the achievements or substance of Charlotta Bass, and, indeed, the two women have much in common. In 1952 Bass ran for Vice President of the United States, representing the Progressive Party, her slogan, “Win or lose, we win by raising the issues.”

…..In addition to calls to unionize aircraft-manufacturing workers and other activist issues, the pages of the Eagle covered crime, sports, retail advertising, church services, entertainment news and events, and a column entitled “What’s Doing in the Younger Set.” The Dizzy Gillespie image in the top row of images in my piece comes from a later issue of the paper, appearing above a caption that reads: “WELL, WELL, WELL! Dizzy Gillespie, the young man with the horn, who came up with a new idea in music is now out with a brand new idea in photographs. The above picture is the release ‘photograph’ of the great Diz and, according to his managers, this will be the only picture to be released on Dizzy in the future. The goatee, beret and horn are so exclusively identified with Mr. Be-Bop that a picture with the complete visage is not deemed necessary.”

…..The building once occupied by the offices of the California Eagle still stands, on the corner of Central Avenue and East 41st Street. Now occupied by an appliance store, it is an elegant two-story building that curves around the street corner. Appropriately, the southern wall boasts a mural entitled La Cultura Cura (“Culture Cures”), #PAINTLA. The mural celebrates the alliance between the Black Panther Party and Los Boinas Cafés (“The Brown Berets”), the pro-Chicano organization that at its inception was known in part for its direct action against police brutality. Charlotta Bass knew exactly what they were talking about, and what we continue to talk about.

…..The title of this work comes from the Eagle’s front-page headline story on November 29, 1945. The piece recounts the murder of a black GI by an off-duty white Long Beach police officer after a traffic stop. Mitchell H. Mason had been discharged from the army two months before his death, after serving eighteen months overseas. The officer claimed later that Mason had approached him with an open knife. “Investigators said that they were unable to find any trace of a knife.”

…..When I was working through the photographs that I had taken of the 41st Street wall, I noticed that, serendipitously, I had captured an image of the stylized eagle on the side of a USPS van stopped at the Central Avenue light.

…..The entrance to S & J Appliances is on the corner of 41st and Central, and another mural is painted on the Central Avenue wall. This gorgeous, swirling abstraction, by the Clover Signs, also carries the store’s phone number and Lavadoras y Refrigeradores, Venta y Reparación (“Washing Machines and Refrigerators, Sale and Repair”). My image of the door (with the store’s hours) appears to comprise three images; however, it is in fact a single photograph. From right to left: mural, door, and a glimpse of the rounded corner of the blue south wall.

…..The word Venta is unambiguous, although in my photograph one reads only the first three letters. Serendipity again, perhaps, or Charlotta Bass unambiguously pointing out to us that these are the first three letters of another word: Venceremos.

…..We shall overcome.

 

 

 

.

.

___

.

.

.

Local 767: The Black Musicians’ Union

(1710 S. Central Ave., Los Angeles)

2020

.

 

…..1710 South Central, the former home of the Black Musicians’ Union, was a frame house with offices on the ground floor. The kitchen hosted fish fries and the backyard held oil-can barbecue pits. Upstairs were practice and rehearsal rooms. Local 767 was a place to find work, to hang out, to make connections, and to rehearse.

…..The building is gone now, replaced by anonymous industrial bunkers. The 10, the Santa Monica Freeway, built in 1965 and one of the busiest freeways in the world, cuts through the neighborhood, running parallel to or obliterating what remains of E. 17th Street at Central Avenue.

…..In 1953, one year before Brown v. Board of Education, Local 767 merged with the white musicians’ union, Local 47. The amalgamation was not simple.

…..Speaking in 1996, Cecil “Big Jay” McNeeley remembered, “I used to go down to the black musicians’ union, Local 767. They used to have Dexter Gordon and all the guys down there rehearsing on Central Avenue. So I used to go down and listen to the guys. My brother was playing in the band. I wasn’t even playing then, but I’d go down and listen to them play.”

…..Born in Watts, and known mainly as a rhythm and blues saxophonist, McNeeley had roots in bebop and, in addition to his own bands, played with everyone from Cab Calloway and Lionel Hampton, to Little Richard, and the Modern Jazz Quartet. In Central Avenue Sounds, McNeeley talks of how white culture and its writers were baffled by the fact that he was drawing a huge white audience. “I know one guy wrote up—I played at Huntington Beach [in conservative Orange County, south of Los Angeles], and he said that it looked like a thousand Watusi dancers!”

…..McNeeley speaks of being against the merger of Locals 767 and 47, when the black musicians “gave up the property, the money, everything. . . . They hired a couple of blacks, and that’s it. And when a job would come in, you’re not going to get it, man. Let’s face facts. A job comes in, a black musician is not going to get it. They’re going to call in one of their boys. It’s all politics. It’s the same thing as the politics that we have today in the country. . . . Yeah, with 767 you had an organization that at least looked out for you. It was great. We had our own local, we had our own money, we owned the building. If I was on the road traveling and got into trouble, they sent me money. They realized the problems that we had.”

…..In contrast, pianist Gerald Wiggins felt that Local 767 often held too much sway over where and when musicians played, a union representative sometimes even pulling a musician off the stage when playing at an after-hours club. Wiggins felt that while many members of Local 767 feared the outcome of the merger, “In fact, it opened up more opportunities for them.”

…..Of the amalgamation, the trumpet player Clora Bryant recalls, “I wasn’t part of it. They weren’t looking for any females to be a part of it. It was a male thing. They didn’t have women’s lib. It was the ones who had the desire to be part of the [TV and movie] studio scene. . . . And nobody was knocking the door down to record women.”

…..Forty-three years after the amalgamation, Bryant still felt a sense of loss and discomfort in the merged union. “We lost money. There was a little prestige [at Local 767] that you could never capture over at the white local. And it’s become even less than when we first went there. Now there’s no . . . Oh, they treat you like a piece of dirt over there now. There’s no pride. You had a pride. You had somewhere to go and see your peers who were on the same level with you and could talk about the same things you talked about. . . . You’d walk in there [1710 S. Central], and there would be Basie’s band upstairs rehearsing or Duke Ellington’s band or Benny Carter or Nat King Cole, you know, or Lloyd Reese would be rehearsing those kids on Sunday, upstairs. There was a thing. But we go out here [Local 47], and the minute you walk in, you feel a coldness, because there are so many people there who don’t want you there in the first place.”

…..The fact, however, that a workers’ union should remain segregated until eight years after the end of World War II recalls the wartime “Double V” movement, calling for victory over fascism abroad, and victory over racism at home. Indeed, the writer Chester Himes would leave Southern California for Europe, “shattered” by the “mental corrosion of race prejudice in Los Angeles.” And Lawrence P. Jenkins, in his biography of Himes, suggests that “for Chester, without a home front victory, the future could hold only a major or minor version of Nazism.”

…..In the lower row of images in Local 767, the viewer will find an upended sign: Swing tanzen verboten. Reichskulturekammer (“Swing dancing is forbidden. Reich Chamber of Culture”). In the Nazi reading of culture, swing dancing was Entartete Musik (“Degenerate music”), swing being tied to that “damnable jazz,” and jazz music as being perceived as a Black-Jewish hybrid. Under the Reich, an underground swing movement developed and became a threat to fascist orthodoxy. In wartime Germany, listening to swing could get you sent to the camps; in wartime Los Angeles, listening to swing on Central Avenue could at least get you badly beaten by U.S. sailors or the LAPD.

…..(For further reading on the home-front struggle for a double victory and the relevance of the concept of Entartete Musik in Nazi Germany and at home, I recommend the article, “Should I Sacrifice My Life to Be Half American?” in the September 24, 2018, issue of Jerry Jazz Musician.)

…..The mural to the right of the anti-swing sign can be found on E. 41st Street Place, on the side wall of Perla Sobadora at 4124 S. Central. The unsigned mural, of which my photograph is merely a detail, is thirty feet long and depicts images of two other musicians.

…..To the left of the sign is a collage, drawn in part from a New York Times article, “The Dutch Golden Age Wasn’t All White,” a review of an exhibition in the Hague that considers the 17th century’s overlooked paintings of Black subjects (25 March 2020).

…..There was a thing. Not a thing to be demeaned. Not a thing to be ignored.

 

.

.

___

.

.

 

All pieces are archival inkjet prints, 4½ x 6½ inches, framed to 14 x 14 inches.  For more information, visit charlesingham.com

.

.

To see Volume 1 of this series, click here

To see Volume 2 of this series, click here

To see Volume 3 of this series, click here

To see Volume 4 of this series, click here

To see Volume 5 of this series, click here

To see Volume 6 of this series, click here

To see Volume 7 of this series, click here

To see Volume 8 of this series, click here

To see Volume 9 of this series, click here

 

 

.

___

.

.

photo by Jacqueline Ramirez

.

Born and educated in England, Charles Ingham moved to California in 1982. He has always been interested in hybrid forms and the intersection of literature and the visual arts, his photography often seeking to transgress the traditional boundaries separating the verbal and the visual.

Ingham lives in San Diego and shows his work at Distinction Gallery in Escondido. He recently had three pieces accepted for the 28th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla. He also had two pieces shown in the “Six-Word Story” exhibitions at Front Porch Gallery, Carlsbad, and the Oceanside Museum of Art.

His work can be found.at his website: charlesingham.com

 

.

.

.

.

.

.</span

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In This Issue

"Nina" by Marsha Hammel
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Winter, 2024 Edition...One-third of the Winter, 2024 collection of jazz poetry is made up of poets who have only come to my attention since the publication of the Summer, 2023 collection. What this says about jazz music and jazz poetry – and this community – is that the connection between the two art forms is inspirational and enduring, and that poets are finding a place for their voice within the pages of this website. (Featuring the art of Marsha Hammel)

The Sunday Poem

photo via RawPixel.com
“Style” by Laurie Kuntz

Poetry

Proceeding From Behind: A collection of poems grounded in the rhythmic, relating to the remarkable, by Terrance Underwood...A relaxed, familiar comfort emerges from the poet Terrance Underwood’s language of intellectual acuity, wit, and space – a feeling similar to one gets while listening to Monk, or Jamal, or Miles. I have long wanted to share his gifts as a poet on an expanded platform, and this 33-poem collection – woven among his audio readings, music he considers significant to his story, and brief personal comments – fulfills my desire to do so.

Black History

The Harlem Globetrotters/photo via Wikimedia Commons
A Black History Month Profile: The Harlem Globetrotters...In this 2005 interview, Ben Green, author of Spinning the Globe: The Rise, Fall, and Return to Greatness of the Harlem Globetrotters, discusses the complex history of the celebrated Black touring basketball team.

Black History

photo of Zora Neale Hurston by Carl Van Vechten/Library of Congress
A Black History Month Profile: Zora Neale Hurston...In a 2002 interview, Carla Kaplan, editor of Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters, talks about the novelist, anthropologist, playwright, folklorist, essayist and poet

Black History

Eubie Blake
A Black History Month Profile – Pianist and composer Eubie Blake...In this 2021 Jerry Jazz Musician interview, Eubie Blake biographers Ken Bloom and Richard Carlin discuss the legendary composer of American popular song and jazz during the 20th century

Feature

Jamie Branch's 2023 album "Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))"
On the Turntable— The “Best Of the ‘Best Of’” in 2023 jazz recordings...A year-end compilation of jazz albums oft mentioned by a wide range of critics as being the best of 2023 - including the late trumpeter Jamie Branch's Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))

Essay

"Lester Leaps In" by Tad Richards
"Jazz and American Poetry," an essay by Tad Richards...In an essay that first appeared in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry in 2005, Tad Richards - a prolific visual artist, poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer who has been active for over four decades – writes about the history of the connection of jazz and American poetry.

Interview

photo of Pepper Adams/courtesy of Pepper Adams Estate
Interview with Gary Carner, author of Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer...The author speaks with Bob Hecht about his book and his decades-long dedication to the genius of Pepper Adams, the stellar baritone saxophonist whose hard-swinging bebop style inspired many of the top-tier modern baritone players.

Interview

IISG, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Interview with Judith Tick, author of Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song...The author discusses her book, a rich, emotionally stirring, exceptional work that explores every element of Ella’s legacy in great depth, reminding readers that she was not only a great singing artist, but also a musical visionary and social activist.

Poetry

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole is an occasional series of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film. This edition is influenced by Stillpoint, the 2021 album by Zen practitioner Barrett Martin

Playlist

“Latin Tinges in Modern Jazz” – a playlist by Bob Hecht...A nine-hour long Spotify playlist featuring songs by the likes of Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Ahmad Jamal, and Dizzy Gillespie that demonstrates how the Latin music influence on jazz has been present since the music’s beginnings.

Poetry

[Columbia Legacy]
“On Becoming A Jazz Fanatic In The Early 1970’s” – 20 linked short poems by Daniel Brown

Short Fiction

Christerajet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #64 — “The Old Casino” by J.B. Marlow...The author's award-winning story takes place over the course of a young man's life, looking at all the women he's loved and how the presence of a derelict building informs those relationships.

Feature

George Shearing/Associated Booking Corporation/James Kriegsmann, New York, via Wikimedia Commons
True Jazz Stories: “An Evening With George,” by Terry Sanville...The writer tells his story of playing guitar with a symphony orchestra, backing up jazz legend George Shearing.

Short Fiction

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service/via Picryl.com
“Afloat” – a finalist in the 64th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest – is about a troubled man in his 40s who lessens his worries by envisioning himself and loved ones on a boat that provides safety and ease for all of them.

Poetry

The poet Connie Johnson in 1981
In a Place of Dreams: Connie Johnson’s album of jazz poetry, music, and life stories...A collection of the remarkable poet's work is woven among her audio readings, a personal narrative of her journey and music she considers significant to it, providing readers the chance to experience the full value of her gifts.

Book Excerpt

Book Excerpt from Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song, by Judith Tick...The author writes about highlights of Ella’s career, and how the significance of her Song Book recordings is an example of her “becoming” Ella.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII

Interview

photo courtesy of Henry Threadgill
Interview with Brent Hayes Edwards, co-author (with Henry Threadgill) of Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music...The author discusses his work co-written with Threadgill, the composer and multi-instrumentalist widely recognized as one of the most original and innovative voices in contemporary music, and the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Poetry

art by Russell duPont
Three jazz poets…three jazz poems...Takes on love and loss, and memories of Lady Day, Prez, Ella, Louis, Dolphy and others…

Playlist

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
“A Baker’s Dozen Playlist of Ella Fitzgerald Specialties from Five Decades,” as selected by Ella biographer Judith Tick...Chosen from Ella’s entire repertoire, Ms. Tick’s intriguing playlist (with brief commentary) is a mix of studio recordings, live dates, and video, all available for listening here.

Poetry

"Jazz Trio" by Samuel Dixon
A collection of jazz haiku, Vol. 2...The 19 poets included in this collection effectively share their reverence for jazz music and its culture with passion and brevity.

Jazz History Quiz #169

This trumpeter was in the 1932 car accident that took the life of famed clarinetist/saxophonist Frankie Techemacher (pictured), and is best remembered for his work with Eddie Condon’s bands. Who was he?

Interview

From the Interview Archive: A 2011 conversation with Alyn Shipton, author of Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway...In this interview, Shipton discusses Cab Calloway, whose vocal theatrics and flamboyant stage presence made him one of the country’s most beloved entertainers.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII...announcing the six Jerry Jazz Musician-published writers nominated for the prestigious literary award

Poetry

Gotfryd, Bernard, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
“Devotion” – a poem and 11 “Musings on Monk,” by Connie Johnson

Photography

photo of Mal Waldron by Giovanni Piesco
Beginning in 1990, the noted photographer Giovanni Piesco began taking backstage photographs of many of the great musicians who played in Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, that city’s main jazz venue which is considered one of the finest in the world. Jerry Jazz Musician will occasionally publish portraits of jazz musicians that Giovanni has taken over the years. This edition is of the pianist/composer Mal Waldron, taken on three separate appearances at Bimhuis (1996, 2000 and 2001).

Interview

Leffler, Warren K/Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
A Black History Month Profile: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin...

Community

FOTO:FORTEPAN / Kölcsey Ferenc Dunakeszi Városi Könyvtár / Petanovics fényképek, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
.“Community Bookshelf, #1"...a twice-yearly space where writers who have been published on Jerry Jazz Musician can share news about their recently authored books. This edition includes information about books published within the last six months or so…

Short Fiction

photo by Pedro Coelho/Deviant Art/CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 DEED
“After The Death of Margaret: A True Novella” by S. Stephanie...This story -- a finalist in our recently concluded 64th Short Fiction Contest -- harkens back to Richard Brautigan's fiction of the '70s, and explores modern day co-worker relationships/friendship and the politics of for profit "Universities"

Short Fiction

painting of Gaetano Donizetti by Francesco Coghetti/via Wikimedia Commons
“A Single Furtive Tear” – a short story by Dora Emma Esze...A short-listed entry in the recently concluded 64th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest, the story is a heartfelt, grateful monologue to one Italian composer, dead and immortal of course, whose oeuvre means so much to so many of us.

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950’s Quartets...Long regarded as jazz music’s most eminent baritone saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan was a central figure in “cool” jazz whose contributions to it also included his important work as a composer and arranger. Noted jazz scholar Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950s Quartets, and Jerry Jazz Musician contributing writer Bob Hecht discuss Mulligan’s unique contributions to modern jazz.

Book Excerpt

“Chick” Webb was one of the first virtuoso drummers in jazz and an innovative bandleader dubbed the “Savoy King,” who reigned at Harlem’s world-famous Savoy Ballroom. Stephanie Stein Crease is the first to fully tell Webb’s story in her biography, Rhythm Man: Chick Webb and the Beat that Changed America…The book’s entire introduction is excerpted here.

Short Fiction

pixabay.com via Picryl.com
“The Silent Type,” a short story by Tom Funk...The story, a finalist in the recently concluded 64th Short Fiction Contest, is inspired by the classic Bob Dylan song “Tangled Up in Blue” which speculates about what might have been the back story to the song.

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music, by Henry Threadgill and Brent Hayes Edwards

Contributing Writers

Click the image to view the writers, poets and artists whose work has been published on Jerry Jazz Musician, and find links to their work

Art

Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance: “Outtakes” — Vol. 2...In this edition, the authors Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder share examples of Cha Cha Cha record album covers that didn't make the final cut in their book

Pressed for All Time

“Pressed For All Time,” Vol. 17 — producer Joel Dorn on Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s 1967 album, The Inflated Tear

Coming Soon

An interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 - 1960;  an interview with Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz, authors of But Will You Love Me Tomorrow? An Oral History of the 60's Girl Groups;  a new collection of jazz poetry; a collection of jazz haiku; a new Jazz History Quiz; short fiction; poetry; photography; interviews; playlists; and lots more in the works...

Interview Archive

Eubie Blake
Click to view the complete 22 year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake (pictured); Richard Brent Turner on jazz and Islam; Alyn Shipton on the art of jazz; Shawn Levy on the original queens of standup comedy; Travis Atria on the expatriate trumpeter Arthur Briggs; Kitt Shapiro on her life with her mother, Eartha Kitt; Will Friedwald on Nat King Cole; Wayne Enstice on the drummer Dottie Dodgion; the drummer Joe La Barbera on Bill Evans; Philip Clark on Dave Brubeck; Nicholas Buccola on James Baldwin and William F. Buckley; Ricky Riccardi on Louis Armstrong; Dan Morgenstern and Christian Sands on Erroll Garner; Maria Golia on Ornette Coleman.

Site Archive