Poetry by Sara Spry

February 20th, 2012






Special 20

A breath in the silence
Playing on the silver
Wailing the words of lost souls
Notes burning like a fire
Under molded hands
Moving fingers
Reed notes risin’ like the wind
Settin’ like the sun at night
Crying like the pain in the world
All together in a crowd
Playin’ on
Speaking the best way he knows
Sending his voice in the song




Jazz Baby

Just one more song.
That’s what she always asked for.
Even now,
Music is what she loves.
Notes, just notes.
And melodies and verses and bridges.

And songs.
Nobody can see them like her.
Nobody can hear them like her.
All the music lies at her feet
Waiting to be shaped
Kites without tails, waiting for flight.

On the beat,
She dances free
Never straying
Always playing those jazz tunes
No xylophone,
No undertone
Just over and over again.

“Play that sax, man, play.”
His fingers moving on his keys
Singin’ that sweet melody.
No folk ever heard that music, sweet as she.

“Just one more song for me, sir.”
And the jazz notes would complete her
As she footstepped music
Into the night.



Musical Conversation

Two jazz players
Clarinet and saxophone
Play together.
Feet tapping
To the same beat
Hearts pulsing
The same rhythm
Again and again.
In their heads
A sweet silence
For music to ring and resound.
Melody and harmony
Twining together.
A mellow clarinetist
A chilled out cat on sax
Just like speaking
Friends hangin’ out
On the street corner.






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In this Issue

Art by Russell Dupont
Twenty-eight poets contribute 37 poems to the Jerry Jazz Musician Fall Poetry Collection, living proof that the energy and spirit of jazz is alive — and quite well.

Short Fiction

Photo/CC0 Public Doman
Short Fiction Contest-winning story #52 — “Random Blonde,” by Zandra Renwick


photo by Michael Lionstar
In a wide-ranging interview, Nate Chinen, former New York Times jazz critic and currently the director of editorial content for WBGO (Jazz) Radio, talks about his book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century,, described by Herbie Hancock as a “fascinating read” that shows Chinen’s “firm support of the music

Great Encounters

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
In this edition, Con Chapman, author of Rabbit’s Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, writes about Hodges’ early musical training, and the first meeting he had with Sidney Bechet, the influential and legendary reed player who Hodges called “tops in my book.”

Jazz History Quiz #132

photo of Dizzy Gillespie by Brian McMillen
This legendary saxophonist has worked with Lionel Hampton, Johnny Hodges, Dizzy Gillespie (pictured), Art Blakey, and Art Farmer, and has become known as much for his compositions as the greatness of his horn playing, having written standards like “I Remember Clifford,” “Killer Joe,” and “Along Came Betty.” Who is he?


photo of Esbjorn Svensson Trio/Pkobel/Creative Commons
“The Trio That Should Have Reshaped Jazz” — an essay by Scott Archer Jones


Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light” — photos (and stories) of Mal Waldron, Jackie McLean and Joe Henderson

“What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?”

"What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums?"
Dianne Reeves, Nate Chinen, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Eliane Elias and Ashley Kahn are among the 12 writers, musicians, and music executives who list and write about their favorite Blue Note albums

Pressed for All Time

"Jazz Samba"/Verve Records
In this edition, excerpted from Michael Jarrett's Pressed For All Time, legendary producer Creed Taylor remembers the 1962 Stan Getz recording, Jazz Samba


Photographer Carol Friedman
In an entertaining conversation that also features a large volume of her famous photography, Carol Friedman discusses her lifelong work of distinction in the world of jazz photography


"Dreaming of Bird at Billy Bergs" - by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — a continuing series


photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
"Every Soul is a Circus," by Dig Wayne


photo by Francis Wolff, courtesy of Mosaic Records
Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, discusses her late husband’s complex, fascinating life.

Short Fiction

photo/Creative Commons CC0.
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges, contributes a humorous short story, "Father Kniest: Jazz Priest"

In the Previous Issue

photo of Sullivan Fortner by Carol Friedman
“The Jazz Photography Issue” features an interview with today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer Carol Friedman, news from Michael Cuscuna about newly released Francis Wolff photos, as well as archived interviews with William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, a piece on Milt Hinton, a new edition of photos from Veryl Oakland, and much more…

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