Jazz Poetry – Improvisations In Language

I am a Jazz fan, so it wasn’t a surprise when I wrote a collection of poetry that is influenced by a musical genre that has endured and still evolves. It was natural as a writer to write about a subject that you enjoy or know.

I was introduced to Jazz music from a young age, My Grandad had been a Jazz pianist, and no doubt was one of the reasons my Grandmother fell in love with him. Now I never knew my Grandad, but his legacy of an interest in music lingers even now. My Father was a fan of Louis Armstrong – thanks to music he was introduced too by his parents. At the age of eleven, because I wanted to impress my Father – I attempted to learn how to play the Trumpet – because of how my Dad would tell me what a fine musician his Father had been. Now -to cut a long story short. Playing the trumpet wasn’t really where my talent is. I do remember practicing for hours trying learn how to play Yankee Doodle Dandy. Simply because it was the tune my music teacher wanted me to learn. I think I may have put my parents off that tune for life! But, as I say, from a young age I was aware of Jazz,music and it’s power, and as I got older so I listened to moreof it. Initially it was Swing and crooners – but as I reached my teens I started to become aware of bebop and musicians such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie et al.

I was also reading books by Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, ETC. Jazz age novels also like The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald and then because of the Beats I read The Horn by John Clellon Holmes. The world of Jazz clubs was intriguing and drew me in, and I have enjoyed elements of the Jazz scene ever since. In 2016 I wrote my first book of poetry that is part of a trilogy of music related collections. Jazz Poetry – Improvisations In Language . It is a collection of fairly spontaneous poems written using unusual and sometimes intricate rhythms that emphasise the relationship with jazz. Some of the poems are about musicians, some have subjects that lend themselves to the Jazz world and can be imagined as being spoken with a Jazz backing track. It’s clear to me that Jazz and The Beat Generation have had a great influence on my thought processes and the way I write.

Here is just one of the poems from the book.

Monk

Monk.

Scintillating

Rhythms

Turn your knees,

Sliding footsteps

As fingers hit the keys

Plonk Monk Plonk!

Stiff fingers defy dexterity

Bearded grin

Ivories reflected in the shades.

Monochrome and

Negative delight

As Round Midnight

Haunts the indigo waves

Transistor

Vinyl

Plays

A ballad

Of recognition.

Blue note Behatted

Cat that

Bopped the Boppers

And beat everyone else

To the archetypal Beat

That makes walking home

A moment to be wished away.

It don’t mean a thing

If it ain’t got that Plonk!

Monk

Plonkity Plonk dizzle dazzle

Tangle

You know what I mean?

That Cat’s keys are clean.

Jason Disley (2016)

Like jazz loving hip Beatniks of time gone by I have been seduced by an imaginary world of exotic nocturnal sense of coolness. I have evolved as I have got older – but the seduction of jazz and the worlds it creates are still there. The true cross cultural enjoyment of living and finding enjoyment amidst the chaos. The laid back savoir faire of coolness, or the racing rush of adrenaline given by a speeding excitement to the senses by a more upbeat tempo. Yes Jazz gives me enjoyment in some way no matter my mood. Hopefully the poetry in this collection captures that.

The book is available from various online retailers and

here

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