Poetry by E. C. Jones

April 2nd, 2010







Terry on Bass, 1974

slim straight
long red hair
that cops and rednecks hated
he’d stride to his deep honey bass
feel its pleasure in his big hands
urge out music that turned souls to listen
his freedom plucking up down strings
warm as bourbon
bow a dark beauty
crying raw as sorrow
touch a tone tender
as the spine of a branch trembling naked on air
and the love on his face you could see it
feel his hands play his Soul
gifting out its joy





The Night Bloom


When I heard you had died I wept for you
for the boy of sixteen you were
so long ago

At that particular time
when the days ran fast
a whiplash
of colors
music, words
fresh thoughts
experience, experiment
riding into the future
revolution, peace- love
lots of screwing
civil rights
war howling
intensity opening
gifting many
throwing others away like scraps
and the sounds, all the dope
and you

and all the things you dreamed
to be
to create
and never did

You watched the world
through eyes that hurt like shattered glass
piercing your heart
in a bleed of raw self-loathing
that took you to fix
relief through arm
until it gleamed golden
and your pain pounded numb
the song in your Soul
sagged flat and empty.

You held creation in your opening hand
of scars, obsession, rough gems
Your hand
spinning joy and grief
into music of danger and light

A traitor’s hand
with slid so smooth and sting of needle
opened your pulse
as the Night Bloom’s rich, rushing honey
invaded your hurt
with drench from her lips
and that sweet, sticky kiss
left a twist of her taste
like the quench hanging deaf
to the crave in your veins
screaming hollow for
more, more, more

I ache for you
Pilgrim of Dark Experience
who surrendered your wounds
to Night Bloom’s suffocating beauty
offering your broken- fingered love songs
just to curl soft in the slow steady rush
of her touch, satin hands, gently rocking
the float of your will
dangling fetal within a syringe.

And your dreams
wild, voluminous
dreams screaming gorgeous
your words, your songs
like flocks of feral angels
shameless, flawless
dreams born of love
to the
inside you

the vampire lover
who seduced every cell in your body
your heart into one huge starving throb.

Yet, here I stand stranded
at this theme- park
of tomb stones, flowers
wind slices rain like a razor backed ghost
clouds bruised, soggy, revenant
hang like gigantic piñatas
bursting in bleed spitting tears
of storm and shout
and gone fills your space
bending empty…

Now I tuck you to rest
fold you warm in a careful place
where only love exists
or is that only an imagining.

My hand brushes finality’s stone
your feel lingers long
blooming midnight through my fingers
as I say goodbye then walk away.

And tonight I will pray
-even if nobody listens-
that the Night Flower
as your musical Soul
who takes your hand
warmly, familiar
when you reach the end
of your dark, dark, tunnel.



Screaming God at The Club Universe on Hot Ruby Nights!


opens whisky ears
cigarette ghosts
swirling round a tall bass
bowed deep for rich tasting
sweet molten jazz surging
sliding plucking
through the cosmos curving
reckless drums
cymbals splashing silvery
fast as light
gymnast hands
springing agile
midnight throbbings
wired straight to heart’s
quick ticking
chasing rhythms
melting listeners
drenched in music’s smoke and gold
songs of backstreet angels
holy fire felt Soul to Soul
rushing fingers
spiriting piano keys
blue note epiphanies
peeling off gravity
ravishing silence dangerously loud
wild cat saxophone screaming God
all over The Universe
jamming on hot ruby nights

dedicated to Mike Smith, Terry Plumeri
and John Coltrane


About E.C. Jones

E.C. Jones was raised surrounded in music. Her grandmother played boogie woogie on the piano, her mother was an opera singer and her brother a composer. She has absorbed the flavors and colors of many musical mediums, including the most authentic and accomplished of American music – jazz. She lives in Mt.Shasta Ca.

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In This Issue

painting of Clifford Brown by Paul Lovering
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Spring/Summer, 2024 Edition...In this, the 17th major collection of jazz poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician, 50 poets from all over the world again demonstrate the ongoing influence the music and its associated culture has on their creative lives.

(featuring the art of Paul Lovering)

Publisher’s Notes

photo by Rhonda Dorsett
On turning 70, and contemplating the future of Jerry Jazz Musician...

The Sunday Poem

Tom Beetz, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
”When Sonny Gets Gray” by John Menaghan...

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem


“Revival” © Kent Ambler.
If You Want to Go to Heaven, Follow a Songbird – Mary K O’Melveny’s album of poetry and music...While consuming Mary K O’Melveny’s remarkable work in this digital album of poetry, readings and music, readers will discover that she is moved by the mastery of legendary musicians, the wings of a monarch butterfly, the climate and political crisis, the mysteries of space exploration, and by the freedom of jazz music that can lead to what she calls “the magic of the unknown.” (with art by Kent Ambler)


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

In Memoriam

photo via Wikimedia Commons
A few words about Willie Mays...Thoughts about the impact Willie Mays had on baseball, and on my life.


photo of Earl Hines by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Pianists and Poets – 13 poems devoted to the keys...From “Fatha” Hines to Brad Mehldau, poets open themselves up to their experiences with and reverence for great jazz pianists


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.


CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
“On Coltrane: 4th of July Reflections” – a poem by Connie Johnson

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

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


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?”


photo of Coleman Hawkins by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
“The Naked Jazz Musician” – A playlist by Bob Hecht...As Sonny Rollins has said, “Jazz is about taking risks, pushing boundaries, and challenging the status quo.” Could there be anything riskier—or more boundary-pushing—than to stand naked and perform with nowhere to hide? Bob’s extensive playlist is comprised of such perilous undertakings by an array of notable woodwind and brass masters who have had the confidence and courage (some might say even the exhibitionism) to expose themselves so completely by playing….alone.


Excerpts from David Rife’s Jazz Fiction: Take Two – Vol. 3: “Louis Armstrong”...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 third edition featuring excerpts from his book, Rife writes about four novels/short fiction that include stories involving Louis Armstrong.

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

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?


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

An interview with Larry Tye, author of The Jazzmen: How Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie Transformed America; an interview with James Kaplan, author of 3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and the Lost Empire of Cool; 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

Ella Fitzgerald/IISG, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Click to view the complete 25-year archive of Jerry Jazz Musician interviews, including those recently published with Judith Tick on Ella Fitzgerald (pictured),; Laura Flam and Emily Sieu Liebowitz on the Girl Groups of the 60's; Tad Richards on Small Group Swing; Stephanie Stein Crease on Chick Webb; Brent Hayes Edwards on Henry Threadgill; Richard Koloda on Albert Ayler; Glenn Mott on Stanley Crouch; Richard Carlin and Ken Bloom on Eubie Blake; 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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