The “Three Dot Update”…An occasional flurry of news and information, Vol. 1

January 28th, 2020



photo Creative Commons Zero – CC0


Miscellaneous news and notes to share…


….I am currently in the process of compiling the Winter collection of poetry, with hopes of a publication date in the Feb. 10-ish range.   Readers will find lots to like in it. Stay tuned…Roger Singer, who was the “original” Jerry Jazz Musician poet ( I began publishing his poetry many years ago) informs me that he has just been named the poet laureate of Town of Old Lyme, Connecticut.  Congratulations are in order to a consistently excellent and often brilliant poet whose passion for jazz comes out in loving warmth and energetic and insightful bursts…The Pittsburgh poet Kristofer Collins has a new collection, The River Is Another Kind of Prayer: New & Selected Poems (Kung Fu Treachery Press)…(click here for details)John Stupp – also from Pittsburgh – has a new collection as well..When Billy Conn Fought Fritzie Zivic (Red Flag Poetry Press) is now available for presale (click here for details)…I.

….While preparing for an upcoming interview with James Kaplan, author of an entertaining and excellent new biography of Irving Berlin, I have been diving deep into Berlin’s music.  A composer of countless standards (“All By Myself,” “Always,” “Blue Skies,” “Say It Isn’t So,” “White Christmas,” “God Bless America,” well…you get the idea), I was inspired to put together an Irving Berlin Spotify playlist that readers may also enjoy.  Not meant to be comprehensive and not listed chronologically, the list (currently 129 songs) features great music and performances, and is a reminder of the enormity of Berlin’s presence in the world of music – and of those who embraced and interpreted his music.  Click here to access the playlist…In between the music of Berlin and George Gershwin (whose most recent musical biographer Rich Crawford will soon be joining me in an interview), I have been laying my ears on a recording I am  smitten enough with to recommend; Light Blue, by the Belgian saxophonist Julien Hucq.  Now residing in New York, this album features Hucq’s loose, vibrant playing as well as the incomparable George Cables on piano, whose presence alone is enough to make it to the turntable.  Check out Hucqs website, or the album on Spotify.

….I recently had the opportunity to interview Gerald Horne, author of Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, and who Cornel West describes as “one of the great historians of our time.”  His book tells a jazz history not often told – of the exploitation, racism, sexism, and “racial capitalism” jazz musicians faced and had to perform within.  It is a provocative topic and a discussion worth having.  I discovered much in the process of reading this book, and recommend it to those interested in a history that is at times ugly and uncomfortable and doesn’t always get told.  Look for the interview in the coming days…

….The artist Charles Ingham continues to expand his brilliant series of what he describes as “Jazz Narratives,” photo montages and stories that take us to great and long lost jazz landmarks and events.  An updated post featuring this entire series will be coming soon…Meanwhile, you can click here to see the current editions within the series.

Until next time…





Julien Hucq talks about his album, Light Blue





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In this Issue

The winter collection of poetry offers readers a look at the culture of jazz music through the imaginative writings of its 32 contributors. Within these 41 poems, writers express their deep connection to the music – and those who play it – in their own inventive and often philosophical language that communicates much, but especially love, sentiment, struggle, loss, and joy.


photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
Con Chapman, author of Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges discusses the great Ellington saxophonist

Book Excerpt

This story, excerpted from Irving Berlin: New York Genius by James Kaplan, describes how Berlin came to write his first major hit song, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” and speaks to its historic musical and cultural significance.


photo by Francis Wolff/© Mosaic Images
Interview with Paul Lopes, author of Art Rebels: Race, Class and Gender in the Art of Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese


photo of Archie Shepp by Veryl Oakland
"Archie Shepp's Jazz Song," by Susana Case


Art by Charles Ingham
“Charles Ingham’s Jazz Narratives” — Vol. 1 -- a unique view of jazz history

Jazz History Quiz #133

photo by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
This musician first recorded with Ben Pollack’s band in 1936, and then joined Benny Goodman (pictured) in 1937. He eventually started his own band, in which Frank Sinatra sang for a short time in 1939. In 1941 he recorded “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It”), which made him a star — second only to Glenn Miller in popularity in 1942. Who is he?


News about the poet Arlene Corwin


photo of Stephane Grappelli by Veryl Oakland
Veryl Oakland’s “Jazz in Available Light” — photos (and stories) of violinists Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Zbigniew Seifert, and Leroy Jenkins

Short Fiction

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

Great Encounters

photo of Sidney Bechet by William Gottlieb/Library of Congress
In this edition of "Great Encounters," 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.”

Book Excerpt

In the introduction to Jazz and Justice: Racism and the Political Economy of the Music, author Gerald Horne writes about the severe cultural and economic obstacles jazz musicians have encountered since the music's inception


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

“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

In this edition, producer Helen Keane tells Michael Jarrett, author of Pressed For All Time: Producing the Great Jazz Albums about how the collaboration of Tony Bennett and Bill Evans began, culminating in the 1975 recording, The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album.


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


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

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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