“Listening to Charlie Parker, Play Jazz, In the Dark” — a poem by Alan Yount

September 13th, 2018

 

 

 

 

Listening to Charlie Parker, Play Jazz, In the Dark
 For Charlie Parker with Strings

 

charlie parker
sits on the end
of my bed
holding his alto sax.

and for pete’s sake!  mr. traps:
buddy rich was also there,
getting his drum kit ready
by the end of the bed.

then ray brown’s there
and making a move
to pick up my old kay bass
with birds eye maple!

and somehow the violins
have snuck in by the door
followed closely
by mitch miller on oboe.

… an oboe has an estranged sound.
(the word oboe … almost sounds
like the sound, when it’s playing),
but it definitely works itself in.

 

*****

 

I imagine I can still see
charlie parker “the bird.”
… nodding to him
he gets ready for “just friends.”

the strings start up:
they have an incredible fluidity,
and the sounds
float up in the room.

the violins
lifted up everything
and “the bird,” was wonderful …
and flew up there too.

I had been dozing off
but then I remembered surely
that I did not play alto sax
as clearly as I was playing it now.

 

*****

 

listening to jazz
in the dark at night
there’s a different dimension
bringing together all the notes …

so much closer
and closer.

and then all of a sudden

you … are … there!

playing along

with all of them.

 

 

 

_____

 

 

 

 

Alan Yount lives on the north bank of the Missouri River, just south of Columbia, Missouri, and has taken poetic inspiration from boating and floating the river for many years. His poems have been published in a variety of publications, including Palo Alto Review, Roanoke Review, Spring…the Journal of E.E. Cummings Society, Apostrophe Magazine, Columbia College Journal of the Literary Arts, Modern Haiku, Pegasus Review, and Tidepool Magazine. Alan also plays jazz trumpet, and has led his own dance band. He is a direct descendant of the famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone.

 

 

*

 

Share this:

9 comments on ““Listening to Charlie Parker, Play Jazz, In the Dark” — a poem by Alan Yount”

  1. I enjoyed reading your poem, Mr. Yount. I also learned something I had not previously known. I had no idea that Mitch Miller ever played in a session with Charlie Parker. That astounds me. I like the idea of the musicians and instruments actually being present in the room with you.

  2. I enjoyed reading your poem, Mr. Yount. I also learned something I had not previously known. I had no idea that Mitch Miller ever played in a session with Charlie Parker. That astounds me. I like the idea of the musicians and instruments actually being present in the room with you.

  3. Knowing Alan for 6 decades we both came from homes with music inside- playing and listening to music was a big part of our lives- playing music gives you the ability to admire those who do it better, as they serve as an inspiration- My Grandmother once told me “no one can take your music from you” and she was right- Alan is inspired by the music we played and the wonderful players to whom we listened- all these years later, that is what Alan has engendered in those of the same collective mind.
    Scott Heuer

  4. Knowing Alan for 6 decades we both came from homes with music inside- playing and listening to music was a big part of our lives- playing music gives you the ability to admire those who do it better, as they serve as an inspiration- My Grandmother once told me “no one can take your music from you” and she was right- Alan is inspired by the music we played and the wonderful players to whom we listened- all these years later, that is what Alan has engendered in those of the same collective mind.
    Scott Heuer

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
"23 Poets remember their father…"

This space on Sunday is generally reserved for a single poet to read one of their works, but this week’s issue -Father’s Day – features 23 poets who weigh in on the complexity of their relationship with their father, revealing love, warmth, regret, sorrow – and in many cases a strong connection to a common love of music.

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem

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.

Interview

The Marvelettes/via Wikimedia Commons
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...Little is known of the lives and challenges many of the young Black women who made up the Girl Groups of the ‘60’s faced while performing during an era rife with racism, sexism, and music industry corruption. The authors discuss their book’s mission to provide the artists an opportunity to voice their experiences so crucial to the evolution of popular music.

Book Excerpt

An excerpt from Emily Jon Tobias’ MONARCH: Stories, and a reflection on our friendship

Art

photo of Archie Shepp by Giovanni Piesco
The Photographs of Giovanni Piesco: Archie Shepp...photos of the legendary saxophonist (and his rhythm section for the evening), taken at Amsterdam's Bimhuis on May 13, 2001.

Poetry

The cover to Joni Mitchell's 1976 album Hejira [Asylum]; photo by Norman Seeff
“Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada” – a poem (for Joni Mitchell) by Juan Mobili

Click here to read more poetry published in Jerry Jazz Musician

Calling All Poets!

News about a Jerry Jazz Musician printed jazz poetry anthology, and information about submitting your poetry for consideration

Short Fiction

pickpik.com
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #65 — “Ballad” by Lúcia Leão...The author’s award-winning story is about the power of connections – between father and child, music and art, and the past, present and future.

Click here to read more short fiction published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Interview

photo of Louis Jordan by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 – 1960...Richards makes the case that small group swing players like Illinois Jacquet, Louis Jordan (pictured) and Big Jay McNeely played a legitimate jazz that was a more pleasing listening experience to the Black community than the bebop of Parker, Dizzy, and Monk. It is a fascinating era, filled with major figures and events, and centered on a rigorous debate that continues to this day – is small group swing “real jazz?”

Playlist

Sonny Rollins' 1957 pianoless trio recording "Way Out West"
“The Pianoless Tradition in Modern Jazz” – a playlist by Bob Hecht...an extensive playlist built around examples of prominent pianoless modern jazz.

Feature

Excerpts from David Rife’s Jazz Fiction: Take Two – (Vol. 1)...A substantial number of novels and stories with jazz music as a component of the story have been published over the years, and the scholar David J. Rife has written short essay/reviews of them.  In this initial edition featuring his story essays/reviews, Rife writes about three novels that explore challenges of the mother/daughter relationship.

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

The cover of Wayne Shorter's 2018 Blue Note album "Emanon"
Trading Fours, with Douglas Cole, No. 20: “Notes on Genius...This edition of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film is written in response to the music of Wayne Shorter.

Click here to read previous editions of Trading Fours with Douglas Cole

In Memoriam

Hans Bernhard (Schnobby), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
“Remembering Joe Pass: Versatile Jazz Guitar Virtuoso” – by Kenneth Parsons...On the 30th anniversary of the guitarist Joe Pass’ death, Kenneth Parsons reminds readers of his brilliant career

Book Excerpt

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

Click here to read more book excerpts published on Jerry Jazz Musician

Poetry

painting by Vaino Kunnas
Jazz…in eight poems...A myriad of styles and experiences displayed in eight thoughtful, provocative poems…

Jazz History Quiz #172

photo of Teddy Wilson by William Gottlieb
Teddy Wilson once said this about a fellow jazz pianist:

“That man had the most phenomenal musical gifts I’ve ever heard. He was miraculous. It’s like someone hitting a home run every time he picks up a bat. We became such fast friends that I was allowed to interrupt him anytime he was playing at the house parties in Toledo we used to make every night. When I asked him, he would stop and replay a passage very slowly, showing me the fingering on some of those runs of his. You just couldn’t figure them out by ear at the tempo he played them.”

Who is the pianist he is describing?

Community

photo via Picryl.com
.“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

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

Coming Soon

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