The “Three Dot Update”…An occasional flurry of news and information, Vol. 3

November 23rd, 2020

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photo Creative Commons Zero – CC0

photo Creative Commons Zero – CC0

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“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

-John F. Kennedy, in an October, 1963 address at Amherst College honoring the poet Robert Frost, who died in January of that year

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…..We are clearly living during a time of arrogance and corruption, a time when the news is fast, furious, and outrageous – a time like that which Wallace Stevens characterized at the outset of World War II as contributing to a “pressure of reality.”   This pressure may be overcoming us today, to the point where it is near impossible to seriously make room in our psyche for what Stevens called the “power of contemplation.”

…..In Why Poetry?, Matthew Zapruder’s excellent exploration of poetry – and his plea to return to reading it – the author quotes Stevens as saying in a 1941 lecture, “For more than ten years now, there has been an extraordinary pressure of news…at first, of the collapse of our system, or, call it, of life…and finally news of a war…And for more than ten years, the consciousness of the world has concentrated on events which have made the ordinary movement of life seem to be the movement of people in the intervals of a storm…Little of what we believed has been true.  Only the prophecies are true.  The present is an opportunity to repent.”

…..Zapruder writes that what Stevens argues for is to “actively resist the pressure of all the news and information and input with which we are flooded, to push back with force to create a different kind of space within ourselves,” and to propose “a kind of environmentalism of the imagination, a call for us to actively carve out in our own minds and daily lives a space for imagination that is like a nature preserve or ecologically protected area.”

…..Based on the amount of quality poetry being submitted to Jerry Jazz Musician virtually every day, poets are busy with the work of psychic exploration, often times with jazz at the center of their thoughts, and at others with contemporary challenges influencing their themes.  Understanding that people long for connection during this time of intense division, chaos, illness and sadness, I have tried to make room for both creative pursuits, publishing quarterly collections of jazz poetry as well as periodic collections of poetry that reflect our vehement, turbulent times. Both of these concepts will continue here indefinitely because I believe that, in the words of Zapruder, there will always be a “few moments at least,” where, with poetry, “we can feel protected against the constant superficial, distracting noise that is the pressure of the real, where we can feel renewed, so that something else can begin to happen.”

…..And something else indeed needs to happen.  So, why not poetry?

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…..With that in mind, some things regarding poetry to report on…The autumn collection of jazz poetry will be published the week of November 30.   Much of the work submitted is awe-inspiring and provocative, and the result is another edition of contributions by writers – many published on Jerry Jazz Musician for the first time – who are playing a part in growing the contemporary creative culture of this most American of music…Also, there will be another collection of “Poetry reflecting the era of COVID, Black Lives Matter and a heated political season.”  This edition – the fifth of its kind – will likely be published on or around January 20 (a day that can’t come around soon enough).  Poets who wish to submit their work for consideration can click here for information on how to do so.

…..Other news to share…Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Ricky Riccardi, author of the acclaimed Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong.  Anticipated publication date of the interview is December 14.  I can’t recommend this excellent book highly enough – it is a thorough view of the artist’s career from 1929 – 1947 (the years his big band was in business), and an interesting look at American history with Armstrong at its center.  To get a feel for it, check out an excerpt by clicking here…I have set up an interview with Kevin Whitehead, the jazz critic for NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” and author of Play the Way You Feel:  The Essential Guide to Jazz Stories on Film, a book that, according to its publisher (Oxford), “looks closely at movies, cartoons, and a few TV shows that tell jazz stories, from early talkies to modern times, with an eye to narrative conventions and common story points.”  I am hopeful the interview will be published sometime in January.

…..Last week, the winner of the 55th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest was announced and published.  You can read “Chromesthesia,” Shannon Brady’s wonderful story of connecting music to color – and coming to terms with the loss of a beloved father – by clicking here.  In the coming weeks, several of the short-listed entries from the 55th competition will also be published.  You can get information about the 56th Short Fiction Contest by clicking here.

…..A couple of interesting albums to make mention of; Monday Nights is a terrific recording by the husband and wife team of vocalist/guitarist Sophie Bancroft and bassist Tom Lyne, who interpret standards like “On the Street Where You Live,” “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” and “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.”  Recorded during their COVID-necessitated weekly Facebook livestream performances, you can find information about this imaginative and comforting recording by clicking here…The other album stuck on my “turntable” of late is the saxophonist Carla Marciano’s Psychosis – Homage to Bernard Herrmann.  Ms. Marciano is considered to be one of the top jazz talents in Europe, and this recording is her homage to Herrmann, a genius of mid-20th Century film score.  Exquisite and powerful renditions of memorable music from films like Taxi Driver, Psycho, Vertigo and Marnie.   Click here for info on the recording.

…..A few contributing writers have news to share…Charles Ingham, whose uniquely creative “Jazz Narratives” have been published in their entirety on Jerry Jazz Musician, reports that his book Los Angeles Blue Notes: A Photo-Narrative History of L.A. Jazz has been published by Border Ink Press.  The book was created as something like a “catalog” for a group art gallery show he is participating in, and features many of the narratives that originally appeared here.  You can request information from Charles about his book by clicking here…The jazz poet Namaya’s new CD, Jazz Ku Bop: Jazz in the Key of Ku – an innovative fusion of jazz, word, story and dream – is now available.  Information about it can be found by clicking here…Ed Ruzicka’s new collection of poetry, My Life in Cars (Truth Serum Press) is a “ménage a trios between desire, America’s highways and the wizardry of words.”  Information about the book can be found by clicking here

…..Finally, some sad news to report.  Steve Young, an award winning broadcast journalist and accomplished short fiction writer whose work appeared in many publications, once even garnering a Pushcart Prize nomination, passed away in August.  His story “Bella by Barlight” was a short-listed entry in our 54th Short Fiction Contest, and was, according to Steve’s son-in-law Justin, his last published piece.  You can read it by clicking here.  Heartfelt condolences to those Steve touched.

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…..Thanks for reading…Keep the faith, and may the grace of Thanksgiving enrich you and yours this year, as always, in good health.

…..Joe

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Listen to the poet Robert Creeley read “Have We Told You All You’d Thought To Know,” backed by John Mills (saxophone), Steve Swallow (bass), and Chris Massey (drums)

 

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In This Issue

"Nina" by Marsha Hammel
A Collection of Jazz Poetry — Winter, 2024 Edition...One-third of the Winter, 2024 collection of jazz poetry is made up of poets who have only come to my attention since the publication of the Summer, 2023 collection. What this says about jazz music and jazz poetry – and this community – is that the connection between the two art forms is inspirational and enduring, and that poets are finding a place for their voice within the pages of this website. (Featuring the art of Marsha Hammel)

The Sunday Poem

photo via RawPixel.com
“Style” by Laurie Kuntz

Poetry

Proceeding From Behind: A collection of poems grounded in the rhythmic, relating to the remarkable, by Terrance Underwood...A relaxed, familiar comfort emerges from the poet Terrance Underwood’s language of intellectual acuity, wit, and space – a feeling similar to one gets while listening to Monk, or Jamal, or Miles. I have long wanted to share his gifts as a poet on an expanded platform, and this 33-poem collection – woven among his audio readings, music he considers significant to his story, and brief personal comments – fulfills my desire to do so.

Black History

The Harlem Globetrotters/photo via Wikimedia Commons
A Black History Month Profile: The Harlem Globetrotters...In this 2005 interview, Ben Green, author of Spinning the Globe: The Rise, Fall, and Return to Greatness of the Harlem Globetrotters, discusses the complex history of the celebrated Black touring basketball team.

Black History

photo of Zora Neale Hurston by Carl Van Vechten/Library of Congress
A Black History Month Profile: Zora Neale Hurston...In a 2002 interview, Carla Kaplan, editor of Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters, talks about the novelist, anthropologist, playwright, folklorist, essayist and poet

Black History

Eubie Blake
A Black History Month Profile – Pianist and composer Eubie Blake...In this 2021 Jerry Jazz Musician interview, Eubie Blake biographers Ken Bloom and Richard Carlin discuss the legendary composer of American popular song and jazz during the 20th century

Feature

Jamie Branch's 2023 album "Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))"
On the Turntable— The “Best Of the ‘Best Of’” in 2023 jazz recordings...A year-end compilation of jazz albums oft mentioned by a wide range of critics as being the best of 2023 - including the late trumpeter Jamie Branch's Fly or Die Fly or Die Fly or Die ((world war))

Essay

"Lester Leaps In" by Tad Richards
"Jazz and American Poetry," an essay by Tad Richards...In an essay that first appeared in the Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Poetry in 2005, Tad Richards - a prolific visual artist, poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer who has been active for over four decades – writes about the history of the connection of jazz and American poetry.

Interview

photo of Pepper Adams/courtesy of Pepper Adams Estate
Interview with Gary Carner, author of Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer...The author speaks with Bob Hecht about his book and his decades-long dedication to the genius of Pepper Adams, the stellar baritone saxophonist whose hard-swinging bebop style inspired many of the top-tier modern baritone players.

Interview

IISG, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Interview with Judith Tick, author of Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song...The author discusses her book, a rich, emotionally stirring, exceptional work that explores every element of Ella’s legacy in great depth, reminding readers that she was not only a great singing artist, but also a musical visionary and social activist.

Poetry

Trading Fours with Douglas Cole is an occasional series of the writer’s poetic interpretations of jazz recordings and film. This edition is influenced by Stillpoint, the 2021 album by Zen practitioner Barrett Martin

Playlist

“Latin Tinges in Modern Jazz” – a playlist by Bob Hecht...A nine-hour long Spotify playlist featuring songs by the likes of Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Ahmad Jamal, and Dizzy Gillespie that demonstrates how the Latin music influence on jazz has been present since the music’s beginnings.

Poetry

[Columbia Legacy]
“On Becoming A Jazz Fanatic In The Early 1970’s” – 20 linked short poems by Daniel Brown

Short Fiction

Christerajet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #64 — “The Old Casino” by J.B. Marlow...The author's award-winning story takes place over the course of a young man's life, looking at all the women he's loved and how the presence of a derelict building informs those relationships.

Feature

George Shearing/Associated Booking Corporation/James Kriegsmann, New York, via Wikimedia Commons
True Jazz Stories: “An Evening With George,” by Terry Sanville...The writer tells his story of playing guitar with a symphony orchestra, backing up jazz legend George Shearing.

Short Fiction

Defense Visual Information Distribution Service/via Picryl.com
“Afloat” – a finalist in the 64th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest – is about a troubled man in his 40s who lessens his worries by envisioning himself and loved ones on a boat that provides safety and ease for all of them.

Poetry

The poet Connie Johnson in 1981
In a Place of Dreams: Connie Johnson’s album of jazz poetry, music, and life stories...A collection of the remarkable poet's work is woven among her audio readings, a personal narrative of her journey and music she considers significant to it, providing readers the chance to experience the full value of her gifts.

Book Excerpt

Book Excerpt from Becoming Ella Fitzgerald: The Jazz Singer Who Transformed American Song, by Judith Tick...The author writes about highlights of Ella’s career, and how the significance of her Song Book recordings is an example of her “becoming” Ella.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII

Interview

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.

Poetry

art by Russell duPont
Three jazz poets…three jazz poems...Takes on love and loss, and memories of Lady Day, Prez, Ella, Louis, Dolphy and others…

Playlist

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
“A Baker’s Dozen Playlist of Ella Fitzgerald Specialties from Five Decades,” as selected by Ella biographer Judith Tick...Chosen from Ella’s entire repertoire, Ms. Tick’s intriguing playlist (with brief commentary) is a mix of studio recordings, live dates, and video, all available for listening here.

Poetry

"Jazz Trio" by Samuel Dixon
A collection of jazz haiku, Vol. 2...The 19 poets included in this collection effectively share their reverence for jazz music and its culture with passion and brevity.

Jazz History Quiz #169

This trumpeter was in the 1932 car accident that took the life of famed clarinetist/saxophonist Frankie Techemacher (pictured), and is best remembered for his work with Eddie Condon’s bands. Who was he?

Interview

From the Interview Archive: A 2011 conversation with Alyn Shipton, author of Hi-De-Ho: The Life of Cab Calloway...In this interview, Shipton discusses Cab Calloway, whose vocal theatrics and flamboyant stage presence made him one of the country’s most beloved entertainers.

Community

Nominations for the Pushcart Prize XLVIII...announcing the six Jerry Jazz Musician-published writers nominated for the prestigious literary award

Poetry

Gotfryd, Bernard, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
“Devotion” – a poem and 11 “Musings on Monk,” by Connie Johnson

Photography

photo of Mal Waldron by Giovanni Piesco
Beginning in 1990, the noted photographer Giovanni Piesco began taking backstage photographs of many of the great musicians who played in Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, that city’s main jazz venue which is considered one of the finest in the world. Jerry Jazz Musician will occasionally publish portraits of jazz musicians that Giovanni has taken over the years. This edition is of the pianist/composer Mal Waldron, taken on three separate appearances at Bimhuis (1996, 2000 and 2001).

Interview

Leffler, Warren K/Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
A Black History Month Profile: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin...

Community

FOTO:FORTEPAN / Kölcsey Ferenc Dunakeszi Városi Könyvtár / Petanovics fényképek, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
.“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 by Pedro Coelho/Deviant Art/CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 DEED
“After The Death of Margaret: A True Novella” by S. Stephanie...This story -- a finalist in our recently concluded 64th Short Fiction Contest -- harkens back to Richard Brautigan's fiction of the '70s, and explores modern day co-worker relationships/friendship and the politics of for profit "Universities"

Short Fiction

painting of Gaetano Donizetti by Francesco Coghetti/via Wikimedia Commons
“A Single Furtive Tear” – a short story by Dora Emma Esze...A short-listed entry in the recently concluded 64th Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest, the story is a heartfelt, grateful monologue to one Italian composer, dead and immortal of course, whose oeuvre means so much to so many of us.

Interview

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Interview with Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950’s Quartets...Long regarded as jazz music’s most eminent baritone saxophonist, Gerry Mulligan was a central figure in “cool” jazz whose contributions to it also included his important work as a composer and arranger. Noted jazz scholar Alyn Shipton, author of The Gerry Mulligan 1950s Quartets, and Jerry Jazz Musician contributing writer Bob Hecht discuss Mulligan’s unique contributions to modern jazz.

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.

Short Fiction

pixabay.com via Picryl.com
“The Silent Type,” a short story by Tom Funk...The story, a finalist in the recently concluded 64th Short Fiction Contest, is inspired by the classic Bob Dylan song “Tangled Up in Blue” which speculates about what might have been the back story to the song.

Book Excerpt

Book excerpt from Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life in Music, by Henry Threadgill and Brent Hayes Edwards

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

Art

Designed for Dancing: How Midcentury Records Taught America to Dance: “Outtakes” — Vol. 2...In this edition, the authors Janet Borgerson and Jonathan Schroeder share examples of Cha Cha Cha record album covers that didn't make the final cut in their book

Pressed for All Time

“Pressed For All Time,” Vol. 17 — producer Joel Dorn on Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s 1967 album, The Inflated Tear

Coming Soon

An interview with Tad Richards, author of Jazz With a Beat: Small Group Swing, 1940 - 1960;  an 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;  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

Eubie Blake
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.

Site Archive