A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz

February 14th, 2018

 

“Romance in Red,” by Alfred Gockel

 

_____

 

Jazz music is a language of love.  Love is found in,

the elegance of the Ellington orchestra
the artistry of Bird and Diz
the adventure of Miles
the humor of Armstrong’s growl
the romance of Johnny Hodges
the playfulness of Monk
the strength and character of Mary Lou Williams
the joy of the Basie horn section
the seduction in Sarah Vaughan’s vibrato
the erotic interplay of Prez and Lady Day
the tenderness of Bill Evans’ trio
the heartbreak in Dinah Washington’s cry
the optimism of Clifford Brown and Max Roach
the raw energy of Ornette Coleman
the enthusiasm of Ella
the masculinity of Coleman Hawkins
the muscularity of Gerry Mulligan
the tension of Cecil Taylor
the relentlessness of Sonny Rollins
the coolness of Desmond
the boldness of Nina Simone
the urgency of Elvin Jones
the sexuality of Mingus
the passion of Coltrane
the tears in Chet Baker’s horn.

 

 

In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, I recently invited many of our contributing poets to submit work that combines the themes of jazz music and love, with the result being a collection of voices expressing their own contributions to the language of love… 

Dozens of writers submitted over 100 poems, and the best of the submissions — 29 poems by 18 poets — are found on the following 12 pages. Advance through the selections by utilizing the page monitor at the bottom of each page. 

Many thanks to everyone who submitted their work.

 

JJM

 

 

 

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7 comments on “A collection of poetry celebrating love and jazz”

  1. To bring from the lips to the ear or the fingers to the ear and into the body so much of life and love is such a fine thing that the poet and the musician have married here that all we can do that is celebrate and hallelujah.

  2. This collection has too many good poems and poets to acknowledge every poem and every poet worthy of attention. I will, therefore, single out a handful of poets who moved me deeply. The list would include Gannon Daniels, Robert Nisbet, Susana Case, Dan Franch, Patricia Carragon, John Stupp, and Aurora Lewis. If I went back and reread all the poems for a fourth or fifth time, I would likely expand this list considerably. I tip my hat to all the fine artists in this collection, and I thank Joseph Maita for putting all these fine poems together in such an appealing way.

  3. Michael,

    I especially like the way the way the two settings, outside and inside the Inn in the first poem, as in these lines:

    outside the night is filled
    with cigarette smoke lightning
    and Lithia Creek swirling over rocks

    In the second poem, I hear the music playing in the background of the second poem.

  4. I am pleased that I was able to participate in a poetry writing event which includes the deeply felt emotions of jazz music and love and its individual expressions in form and format. I will read these with great pleasure. This idea to showcase it on Valentines date was terrific.

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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

Poetry

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

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.

Art

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

Interviews

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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