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

Michael Cuscuna, Mosaic Records co-founder, is interviewed about his successful career as a jazz producer, discographer, and entrepreneur...Also in this issue, in celebration of Blue Note’s 80th year, we asked prominent writers and musicians the following question: “What are 4 or 5 of your all-time favorite Blue Note albums; a new collection of jazz poetry; “On the Turntable,” is a new playlist of 18 recently released jazz recordings from six artists – Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano, Matt Brewer, Tom Harrell, Zela Margossian and Aaron Burnett; two new podcasts by Bob Hecht; a new “Jazz History Quiz”; a new feature called “Pressed for All Time,”; a new photo-narrative by Charles Ingham; and…lots more.

On the Turntable

This month, a playlist of 18 recently released jazz recordings by six artists -- Joshua Redman, Joe Lovano. Matt Brewer, Tom Harrell, Zela Margossian, and Aaron Burnett

Poetry

In this month’s collection, with great jazz artists at the core of their work, 16 poets remember, revere, ponder, laugh, dream, and listen

The Joys of Jazz

In this new volume of his podcasts, Bob presents two stories, one on Clifford Brown (featuring the trumpeter Charlie Porter) and the other is part two of his program on stride piano, including a conversation with Mike Lipskin

Short Fiction

We had many excellent entrants in our recently concluded 50th Short Fiction Contest. In addition to publishing the winning story on March 11, with the consent of the authors, we have published several of the short-listed stories...

“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

In an excerpt from his book Pressed for All Time, Michael Jarrett interviews producer Creed Taylor about how he came to use tape overdubs during the 1957 Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross Sing a Song of Basie recording session

Art

"Thinking About Charlie Parker" -- a photo narrative by Charles Ingham

Jazz History Quiz #128

Although he was famous for modernizing the sound of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra -- “On the Sunny Side of the Street” was his biggest hit while working for Dorsey (pictured) -- this arranger will forever be best-known for his work with the Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra. Who is he?

Great Encounters

In this edition, Bob Dylan recalls what Thelonious Monk told him about music at New York’s Blue Note club in c. 1961.

Art

Jerry Jazz Musician regularly publishes a series of posts featuring excerpts of the photography and stories/captions found in Jazz in Available Light by Veryl Oakland. In this edition, Mr. Oakland's photographs and stories feature Stan Getz, Sun Ra, and Carla Bley.

Interviews

Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon, discusses her late husband’s complex, fascinating life.

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

Coming Soon

"The Photography Issue" will feature an interview with jazz photographer Carol Friedman (her photo of Wynton Marsalis is pictured), as well as with Michael Cuscuna on unreleased photos by Blue Note's Francis Wolff.

In the previous issue

Jeffrey Stewart, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, is interviewed about Locke (pictured), the father of the Harlem Renaissance. Also in this issue…A new collection of jazz poetry; "On the Turntable," a new playlist of 19 recommended recordings by five 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…

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