“SO WHAT,” a poem by Golda Solomon

February 4th, 2005

Miles Davis sketch by Jerry Jazz Musician



by Golda Solomon

Baptized by vodka cleansing my throat
Baptized by sweat dripping from Tony Williams’ sticks
Thick Summer Sunday &nbsp Afternoons
at the Vanguard

Miles ready
Horn like a flyswatter, ready to strike down
this whippersnapper of a man/child
the beast in a muted horn

Tony drawing Miles in and driving Miles’ sounds
Out there
Out there
Miles knew
asking this upstart of the sticks to his schoolyard
Miles’ game and
Tony took over
like those street players on those raggedy assed
west 4th Street courts and
Avenue of Whose America

Lives played out on asphalt
Woosh of ball going cleanly through mesh net
My hands – gripping the fence
Looking in at perfect pick-up games
Blue/black and tans who were fucked over by the man
Come on! Come on!
Dart, pass, dribble, shake and shoot
Beat up sneakers squeakin’
Smokin’ up the pavement

Basketball &nbsp Is &nbsp Jazz
Tony workin’ his backboard
Hitting that hi hat

Splat &nbsp Splat

Honing his ax in Miles’ woodshed and
Miles answered
Miles answered
Smiled that funny smile that looked evil
Hunched over, shook spit out of his horn
walked off the stage and
left him to solo

Nets and hoops shimmied under naked sun

Sckutcha Kuh

  Sckutcha Kuh

Sckutcha Kuh

K chuh

K chuh

K chuh

So What!

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In This Issue

Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, talks about her book, and the complex life of her late husband.

Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry; "On the Turntable," a new playlist of 22 recommended recordings by seven jazz artists; three new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Great Encounters”; several short stories; the photography of Veryl Oakland and Charles Ingham; a new Jazz History Quiz; and lots more…

On the Turntable

This month, a playlist of 22 recently released jazz recordings, including those by Chris Potter, Sons of Kemet, Stephan Crump, Brittany Anjou, Julian Lage, Joey DeFrancesco and Antonio Sanchez


Seventeen poets contribute 21 poems in this month’s edition…

The Joys of Jazz

In new podcasts, Bob Hecht tells three stories; one about Miles Davis’ use of space in his music, one on the mutual admiration society of Sinatra, Lady Day, and Lester Young, and the other about the train in jazz and blues music.

“What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?”

Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Joe Hagan, Maxine Gordon, Neil Tesser, Tim Page, Veronica Swift and Marcus Strickland are among the 25 writers, musicians, poets, educators, and photographers who write about their favorite album cover art


“Thinking about Ida B. Wells” — a photo narrative by Charles Ingham

Jazz History Quiz #126

In 1964, along with the orchestra of arranger Lalo Schifrin (pictured), this flutist/alto sax player recorded one of the first “Jazz Masses,” and soon after studied transcendental meditation in India. He would eventually become well known as a composer of music for meditation. Who is he?

Great Encounters

Dexter Gordon tells the story of joining Louis Armstrong’s band in 1944, and how they enjoyed their intermission time.


In this edition of Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light,” photographs of Red Garland, Dizzy Gillespie and Rahsaan Roland Kirk are featured.

Short Fiction

"Strings of Solace," a short story by Kimberly Parish Davis


Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell discusses the life of the important 20th century American artist

Cover Stories with Paul Morris

In this edition, Paul writes about jazz album covers that offer glimpses into intriguing corners of the culture of the 1950’s

Short Fiction

"And so we went to Paris," a short story by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Coming Soon

National Book Award winning author for non-fiction Jeffrey Stewart is interviewed about his book The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke

In the previous issue

The question “What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?” was posed via email to a small number of prominent and diverse people, and the responses of Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Joe Hagan, Maxine Gordon, Tim Page, Veronica Swift and Marcus Strickland are among the 25 writers, musicians, poets, educators, and photographers who participated...Also, the publication of the winning story in our 50th Short Fiction contest; an interview with Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell; a collection of jazz poetry; two new podcasts by Bob Hecht; the March edition of "On the Turntable," and lots more...Click here to be taken to the issue.

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