This is the 14th extensive collection of jazz poetry published on Jerry Jazz Musician since the fall of 2019, when the concept was initiated. Like all previous volumes, the beauty of this edition is not solely evident in the general excellence of the published works; it also rests in the hearts of the individuals from diverse backgrounds who possess a mutual desire to reveal their life experiences and interactions with the music, its character, and its culture.
.This collection of jazz poetry – the largest yet assembled on Jerry Jazz Musician – demonstrates how poets who are also listeners of jazz music experience and interact with the spontaneous art that arises from jazz improvisation, which often shows up in the soul and rhythm of their poetic language.
So long ago, before Ornette Coleman,
Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane—
all those free spirits running up and down
the alphabet of jazz, there was old
J.S. Bach, running through the changes.
I always picture him, and hear him,
at the pipe organ in Tomas Kirsche
all by himself,
Missa brevis —a little requiem. At most I know
perhaps forty Latin words and have already used up
four of them. Maybe not too bad for a Jew boy.
And besides, editors of poetry are always carping:
Keep it short.
In this winter collection of diverse themes and poetic styles, 55 poets wander the musical landscape to explore their spirit and enthusiasm for jazz music, its historic figures, and the passion, sadness, humor and joy it arouses.
Jazz and poetry have always had a symbiotic relationship. Their creative languages share the common soil of imagination and improvisation, from which their audiences discover inspiration and spirit, and perhaps even a renewed faith in life itself.
This collection features 50 gifted poets from places as disparate as Ohio and Nepal, Estonia and Boston, Guyana and Pittsburgh, each publicly sharing their inner world reverence for the culture of jazz music.
The winter collection of poetry offers readers a look at the culture of jazz music through the imaginative writings of its 32 contributors. Within these 41 poems, writers express their deep connection to the music – and those who play it – in their own inventive and often philosophical language that communicates much, but especially love, sentiment, struggle, loss, and joy.