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

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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