In a wonderfully soulful and revealing excerpt from his autobiography Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz, the pianist Fred Hersch remembers his musical introduction to New York in 1977, and specifically when he felt appreciated by none other than Charles Mingus. An excerpt-from-the-excerpt is
Heads up to all interested short fiction writers…The deadline for submitting your story for consideration in our 47th Short Fiction Contest is January 31. Contest details are found here.
The winner of our 46th Contest was Julie Parks. Her story, “Cotton Candy on Alto Sax,” can be read by clicking here. This story was one of six short stories/poems nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. You can view those nominations by clicking here.
Three other entrants during the contest were also published recently on
Before becoming one of television’s biggest stars, he was a competent ragtime and jazz piano player greatly influenced by Scott Joplin, and employed a band of New Orleans musicians similar to the Original Dixieland Jazz Band to play during his vaudeville revue at Harlem’s Alamo Theater. Who was he?
Go to the next page for the answer!
Near the end of high school I thought myself sophisticated, a fan of Pink Floyd and King Crimson and Kevin Ayers, but at a Weather Report Concert in 1972 I had a nearly religious conversion. It was as though a stranger had run up to me and said, “hold this for minute” and ran off. Then the music exploded. I had never heard anything like this. Everything changed.
It was as though I grew hair in secret places and a new appendage. I became a different creature. After that night few of my suburban DC white friends’ guitar and lyrics-oriented ears could hear what mine could; the joy and heartbreak in this unfamiliar and ebonic timbre, this canvas painted in horn, acoustic bass, and polyrhythm; this blues, this brokenness, this homesickness.
There it was, though, for anyone who had ears for it—there, in the absence of verse, in the uncertainty and unpredictability of lengthy solos, in the timelessness of power beyond the moment from which