• Jeffrey’s fingers hovered inches above the ivory. His heart pounded. The oak bench creaked as he leaned forward, only the toes of his scuffed leather shoes making contact with the floor. The hand-written notes on the page in front of him bounced up and down with every panting breath.

  • In honor of the great American journalist Nat Hentoff — who died January 7 at age 91 — I am publishing a 2005 interview I conducted with him as he turned 80.

     

     

  • Short Fiction writer Arya Jenkins contributes her 10th story written exclusively for Jerry Jazz Musician…

  • “Great Encounters” are book excerpts that chronicle famous encounters among twentieth-century cultural icons. This edition describes the time Ella Fitzgerald chose to pass on an opportunity to meet Pablo Picasso.

  • "Storyville" -- a short story by Matthew Peel
  • "Civil Liberties and Jazz" -- a conversation with Nat Hentoff
  • "Like a Pigeon in the Park" a story by Arya Jenkins
  • Great Encounters #47: When Ella chose not to meet Picasso
Literature » Jazz Fiction by Arya Jenkins

“Like a Pigeon in the Park” — a short story by Arya Jenkins

“What a shame,” people always said whenever they saw the two of them, Jeremy and Jade. What a shame the beauty of the boy had escaped the girl, who had her mother’s small oval face and father’s prominent nose and small dark eyes that were filled with a peculiar, almost unnatural intensity. “Such a shame,” relatives observed unabashedly at family gatherings. The remaining phrase that hung in air unspoken was, ”that she isn’t the beautiful one. “

To herself in the mirror, Jade’s own face and visage seemed fine, just a part of her, not even all that consequential. Didn’t brains and character matter more? She was striking much in the way Zelda Fitzgerald had been—a beauty you could not capture in photographs, more in movement, gesture, articulation. Somewhere, not far from the small, provincial town where Jade lived, where people stared at you if you did not fit a mold, there were people like her who were different and proud of their differences and she looked forward to meeting them one day. In the meantime, she would have to deal with challenges.

Growing up, many of them had to do with her brother, who was two years older. Although Jade garnered high marks in school, not much was made of it so

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Quiz Show » Jazz History Quiz

Jazz History Quiz #94

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

Jimmmy McPartland

Wingy Manone

Wild Bill Davison

Sharkey Bonano

Al Hirt

Ruby Braff

Muggsy Spanier

Go to the next page for the answer!

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