Publisher’s Notes…a 3-dot update

December 1st, 2023

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The original  Jerry Jazz Musician  logo, created in 1997 by artist Judd Guitteau – from a concept by website founder Joe Maita

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Greetings folks…

…..Time for a “three-dot” post-Thanksgiving “check in”…I hope you had a wonderful holiday during these challenging times.  I have much to be grateful for, not the least of which is this community of readers and writers who keep me energized to “keep going.”  Unsurprisingly, during this time of gratitude for abundance, I ate too much, too often, causing too much sleep, too many hikes in beautiful Pacific Northwest weather, and too many reasons not to work, which means I have fallen behind on a few publishing dates.  For example, the Short Fiction Contest winning-story may not be published until December 20, and while I had hopes of publishing the Fall/Winter Jazz Poetry Collection in December, it is more likely to be early-to-mid January.  All subject to change, but that appears to be the new schedule.  The second collection of jazz haiku remains on track for a February or March publication date.  If you are interested in submitting your haiku, please do so by January 15, 2024…Also, in March I plan to publish a second edition of “Community Bookshelf,” which is a twice-yearly space where writers who have been published on  Jerry Jazz Musician  can share news about their recently authored books.  Click here if you’d like to view the first edition, and send me information about your book by March 1, 2024 if you’d like to be included in the March edition.

…..Some things recently published I would like to point you to…In October I published an album (or “digital chapbook”) of the poet Connie Johnson’s work.  She is a sensational poet who deserves attention.  Her collection, “In a Place of Dreams” (which includes her poetry as well as music, poetry readings and a personal narrative), can be viewed by clicking here…Six writers whose work has appeared on  Jerry Jazz Musician  in 2023 have been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize literary award.  You can learn who the writers are and link to their work by clicking here…A piece to bring a smile to the face of anyone who has worked in a record store will enjoy Joel Lewis’ memoir, “Well You Needn’t:  My Life as a Jazz Fan.”  Click here to read it (and to chuckle)…Finally, do check out my interview with Brent Hayes Edwards, co-author (with Henry Threadgill) of Threadgill’s sensational autobiography, Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music.  This book is for anyone interested in the process of making creative music, 20th century American history (particularly Vietnam and the civil rights era), and who enjoys brilliant storytelling.  This book is a notable achievement.  Click here to read the interview.

…..Some upcoming things of note…On December 5, look for my interview with Judith Tick, author of Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song, which is an outstanding biography that reclaims Ella as a major American artist and modernist innovator.  I can’t recommend this book highly enough.  To reaquaint yourself with her music, Ms. Tick recently put together a playlist of recommended tunes by Ella that she calls “A Baker’s Dozen Playlist of Ella Fitzgerald Specialties from Five Decades.”  Click here if you’d like to check out these 13 tracks (and films)…Another interview in the works is contributing writer Bob Hecht’s conversation with Gary Carner, author of Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer.

…..Finally, I have decided to take a swing at hosting jazz salons on Zoom.  The first will be somewhat of a trial (likely in late January), to include interested poets who would like to share their work with other writers in the community.  Specific details will be sent to poets in the next week or two.  Other events (book clubs, author interviews, etc) are also being considered.

…..I do appreciate reader interest in all the work being published on Jerry Jazz Musician, and hope you understand that this does not come without some (at times) significant personal costs.  My intent is to keep this publication commercial-free, with no ads for toenail fungus ointments or fast-food restaurant coupons indiscriminately popping up.  This is a site devoted to music, history, literature, art, and the community creating it, and that is where the focus will always be.  With that in mind, if Jerry Jazz Musician has had a positive impact on your life, if you enjoy it and learn from it, and if you share my desire to see it expand into an even more rewarding experience, I respectfully request that you please consider making a one-time or ongoing donation.  Your support can help make a significant impact on the future of  Jerry Jazz Musician.   I ask that you click here for more details concerning this.

Thanks you for reading, and sincere best wishes to friends and family for health and happiness during this holiday season, and beyond.

Joe Maita

Editor/Publisher

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Listen to the 1936 recording of Chick Webb and His Orchestra (featuring Ella Fitzgerald) performing “Sing Me a Swing Song (And Let Me Dance)”  [Universal Music Group]

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Click here to read The Sunday Poem

Click here to read “A Collection of Jazz Poetry – Summer, 2023 Edition”

Click here for information about how to submit your poetry or short fiction

Click here to subscribe to the (free) Jerry Jazz Musician quarterly newsletter

Click here to help support the ongoing publication of Jerry Jazz Musician, and to keep it commercial-free (thank you!)

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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

photo via NegativeSpace
“Why I Play Guitar” by C.J. Trotter...

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem

Poetry

“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)

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

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.

Poetry

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

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

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

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

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.

Feature

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?

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

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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