A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz

February 14th, 2018

 

 

_____

 

Jazz music is a language of love.  Love is found in,

the elegance of the Ellington orchestra
the artistry of Bird and Diz
the adventure of Miles
the humor of Armstrong’s growl
the romance of Johnny Hodges
the playfulness of Monk
the strength and character of Mary Lou Williams
the joy of the Basie horn section
the seduction in Sarah Vaughan’s vibrato
the erotic interplay of Prez and Lady Day
the tenderness of Bill Evans’ trio
the heartbreak in Dinah Washington’s cry
the optimism of Clifford Brown and Max Roach
the raw energy of Ornette Coleman
the enthusiasm of Ella
the masculinity of Coleman Hawkins
the muscularity of Gerry Mulligan
the tension of Cecil Taylor
the relentlessness of Sonny Rollins
the coolness of Desmond
the boldness of Nina Simone
the urgency of Elvin Jones
the sexuality of Mingus
the passion of Coltrane
the tears in Chet Baker’s horn.

 

 

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I recently invited many of our contributing poets to submit work that combines the themes of jazz music and love, with the result being a collection of voices expressing their own contributions to the language of love…

Dozens of writers submitted over 100 poems, and the best of the submissions — 29 poems by 18 poets — are found on the following 12 pages. Advance through the selections by utilizing the page monitor at the bottom of each page.

Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work.

 

JJM

 

 

 

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7 comments on “A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz”

  1. To bring from the lips to the ear or the fingers to the ear and into the body so much of life and love is such a fine thing that the poet and the musician have married here that all we can do that is celebrate and hallelujah.

  2. This collection has too many good poems and poets to acknowledge every poem and every poet worthy of attention. I will, therefore, single out a handful of poets who moved me deeply. The list would include Gannon Daniels, Robert Nisbet, Susana Case, Dan Franch, Patricia Carragon, John Stupp, and Aurora Lewis. If I went back and reread all the poems for a fourth or fifth time, I would likely expand this list considerably. I tip my hat to all the fine artists in this collection, and I thank Joseph Maita for putting all these fine poems together in such an appealing way.

  3. Michael,

    I especially like the way the way the two settings, outside and inside the Inn in the first poem, as in these lines:

    outside the night is filled
    with cigarette smoke lightning
    and Lithia Creek swirling over rocks

    In the second poem, I hear the music playing in the background of the second poem.

  4. I am pleased that I was able to participate in a poetry writing event which includes the deeply felt emotions of jazz music and love and its individual expressions in form and format. I will read these with great pleasure. This idea to showcase it on Valentines date was terrific.

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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 by Mel Levine/pinelife, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Lady Day and Prez” by Henry Wolstat

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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.

Publisher’s Notes

photo by Rhonda Dorsett
A very brief three-dot update…Where I’ve been, and an update on what is coming up on Jerry Jazz Musician

Poetry

Photographer uncredited, but the photo was almost certainly taken by Chuck Stewart. Published by ABC/Impulse! Records.. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
“And I’m Not Even Here” – a poem by Connie Johnson

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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.

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Poetry

Three poets and Sketches of Spain

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.

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

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

Review

Jason Innocent, on “3”, Abdullah Ibrahim’s latest album... Album reviews are rarely published on Jerry Jazz Musician, but Jason Innocent’s experience with the pianist Abdullah Ibrahim’s new recording captures the essence of this artist’s creative brilliance.

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.

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Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Jazz with a Beat: Small Group Swing 1940 – 1960, by Tad Richards

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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 #170

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This bassist played with (among others) Charlie Parker, Erroll Garner, Nat King Cole and Dexter Gordon (pictured), was one of the earliest modern jazz tuba soloists, and was the only player to turn down offers to join both Duke Ellington’s Orchestra and the Louis Armstrong All-Stars. Who is he?

Community

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.“Community Bookshelf, #2"...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…

Contributing Writers

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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

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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.

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