Poetry by John B. Lambremont, Sr.

April 20th, 2009





A big mind





Think of One with rare flat-fingered technique,
Hat and Beard gave you a distinct mystique;
Evidence early of genius unique,
Let’s Cool One while your sweet glissandos peak.
Off Minor keys pressed with heavy-hand passion,
Nutty tunes composed in bright, Skippy fashion;
I Mean You can’t help but feel Bemsha Swing
under the influence of Rhythm-n-ing;
Suburban Eyes shine in Epistrophy.

Misterioso of space so sublime,
only you knew ’twas a matter of time;
Nellie in crepuscule first saw the light,
knew we’d catch on to you ‘Round About Midnight.







A big star





Classic example of heroin’s waste,
Hollywood handsome turned withered prune-face;
embrochure crushed in a ‘Frisco street fight,
tumbled to death from a Dutch window flight.

Bird from his yard said that you’d be the one
able to give Miles and Dizzy a run;
king of cool, yes, but a warm crooner, too,
even when your luck was finally through,
really was no one that could out-play you.







A big pioneer





Joyful proclaimer of pure love supreme,
oh! how you burned like none had ever dreamed;
Heaven reclaimed you; you passed the baton:
no giant steps taken once you were gone.

Chimney sweep tune from a new movie score,
only you transformed it and made it soar;
lengthy, bold phrases of mystic oration;
train colored blue made you the new sensation.
Rivers of Africa murmur your name,
Ascension glory beyond mortal aim;
never will sheets of sound be heard again;
eternal blazer, forever you reign.







A big iconoclast





Mute man so hoarse with such change in his chords,
in final years, a recluse of few words;
legacy in making music sound different;
electric move made him stadium riches,
steadily sipped he the brew of new bitches.

Dizzy successor in high-fly bird school,
ably he gave birth to the style called cool;
varying modes, his bands found blue in green;
imitate? never, no question mark, clean,
So What if acid was his last new scene.







A big lady





Blues were born into your plaintive voice box,
infinite time in the school of hard knocks;
loving the easy living you knew best,
Lady Day, named by the tenor men’s Prez;
interesting way they arranged your strange fruit,
exquisite style that in our hearts took root.

Home life you longed after time and again,
only to ride wild on trains with jazz men;
limited range but such depth of emotion,
in solitude you earned our true devotion;
devils tormented you from East to West,
and while you died a well-chaperoned death,
yes, it’s still you we hear above the rest.







A big clown





Clown sweating upright on many a stage,
hog callin’ blues put you into a rage;
although there were those that said you were strange,
revered by all for the way you’d arrange
love chants and folk forms you sought to attain;
ecclusiastics you wrought from your pain;
sorrowful ecstasy, your voice not plain.

Mercurial leader of your small big bands,
intricate runs from your rough, callused hands;
Nogales to New York was a quick trip,
growling brown bear of such sardonic quip;
until this day we have never have seen
such a big thumper with long lines so clean.







A big vision





Wonder child, you single-handedly preserved a genre;
you deserve all of the recognition thrust upon you.
Never has a jazz man yet received such great acclaim;
trumpeter, you’re fast approaching Louis Armstrong’s fame.
Only generation left before pure jazz was through;
no one knew it better than did you at twenty-two.

Messenger of music, you direct with style and pace;
Art Blakey could see it, so he put you in his place.
Red blood on the fields you wrote of got us all to thinking;
slave songs from the Center in Manhattan named for Lincoln ;
all around you spread J Mood, your Citi Movements honed;
listen to Noo ‘Awlins callin’ with Levee Low Moans;
it’s time again you and your brothers made the Jazz Fest scene,
Steepie says he’ll treat you to Bayona’s on Dauphine …



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In This Issue

The Modern Jazz Quintet by Everett Spruill
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Summer, 2023 Edition

A wide range of topics are found in this collection. Tributes are paid to Tony Bennett and Ahmad Jamal and to the abstract worlds of musicians like Ornette Coleman and Pharoah Sanders; the complex lives of Chet Baker and Nina Simone are considered; devotions to Ellington and Basie are revealed; and personal solace is found in the music of Tommy Flanagan and Quartet West. These are poems of peace, reflection, time, venue and humor – all with jazz at their core. (Featuring the art of Everett Spruill)

The Sunday Poem

photo via Wallpaper Flare
“Dink’s Blues and drum fills,” by Joel Glickman


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.

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A thought or two about Tony Bennett


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.“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 vi Wallpaper Flare
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #63 — “Company” by Anastasia Jill...Twenty-year-old Priscilla Habel lives with her wannabe flapper mother who remains stuck in the jazz age 40 years later. Life is monotonous and sad until Cil meets Willie Flasterstain, a beatnik lesbian who offers an escape from her mother's ever-imposing shadow.


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“Wolfman and The Righteous Brothers” – a poem by John Briscoe

Jazz History Quiz #167

GuardianH, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Before becoming one of television’s biggest stars, he was a competent ragtime and jazz piano player greatly influenced by Scott Joplin (pictured), and employed a band of New Orleans musicians similar to the Original Dixieland Jazz Band to play during his vaudeville revue. Who was he?

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Ella Fitzgerald, in poems by Claire Andreani and Michael L. Newell

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.


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Book Excerpt

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Publisher’s Notes

“C’est Si Bon” – at trip's end, a D-Day experience, and an abundance of gratitude


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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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