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

November 23rd, 2020



photo Creative Commons Zero – CC0

photo Creative Commons Zero – CC0



“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






…..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?




…..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.



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




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

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
“Wrong Address” – by DB Jonas...

Click here to read previous editions of The Sunday Poem


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.


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 Archie Shepp by Giovanni Piesco
The Photographs of Giovanni Piesco: Archie of the legendary saxophonist (and his rhythm section for the evening), taken at Amsterdam's Bimhuis on May 13, 2001.


The cover to Joni Mitchell's 1976 album Hejira [Asylum]; photo by Norman Seeff
“Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada” – a poem (for Joni Mitchell) by Juan Mobili

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?”


Sonny Rollins' 1957 pianoless trio recording "Way Out West"
“The Pianoless Tradition in Modern Jazz” – a playlist by Bob extensive playlist built around examples of prominent pianoless modern jazz.


Excerpts from David Rife’s Jazz Fiction: Take Two – Vol. 2: “Fathers in Jazz Fiction”...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 second edition featuring excerpts from his book, Rife writes about four novels/short stories that include stories involving relationships between fathers and children.

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


painting by Vaino Kunnas
Jazz…in eight poems...A myriad of styles and experiences displayed in eight thoughtful, provocative poems…

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
.“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

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.

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