Beating the hot weather with poetry and cool jazz along with the return of Speaky Blinders

So, we have been experiencing the best prolonged spell of decent weather since 1976 here in the UK. It has inspired many a writer I am sure. I know I have been writing quite a bit lately. So maybe it’s the happy place good weather can put you in, or in typical British style it gives us another topic to moan about. – “it’s too hot”, “I can’t stand the heat” etc are common gripes. One thing for sure in my life music always puts me in a better place, and Jazz is something that always brings a smile. It moves me. It really does. Some people are indifferent to Jazz, or can’t be bothered to listen properly to the nuances of jazz. To be able to focus on a part of a tune that takes the listener into different places before returning comfortably to its original melody.

For me it is cool jazz and modern jazz that I tip my hat to. I also enjoy bebop. Why? I am not sure. But, I think that after reading books like The Horn by John Clellon Holmes

The Horn by John Clellon Holmes

I have found myself transported into the coolness that Jazz brings. I so enjoy listening to the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Lee Morgan, Eric Dolphy et al that the whole coolness of Jazz has become just a little obsessive. The original Beat writers loved jazz too. So just like Kerouac and Neal Cassady I like to really dig the music, click my fingers in time to the rhythm nod my head or even just dance. It is something that just gets those endorphins going.

Anyway I have recently written a poem that I have simply called Jazz. Its a poem I wish I had written a couple of years ago and had included in my book. Jazz Poetry – Improvisations In Language

A book that is a collection of Jazz influenced poems that includes a Spotify play list. It is a poem I wish to share.

Jazz.

I am Jazz
I mean I am
The embodiment
Of a syncopated rhythm
I scatter
Like acorns on the breeze
I freeze and drop
Like beads of sweat
I dig beneath the skin
Raising hairs from within
I tremor with surprise
And melodic lies
I breathe
I live
I give
Honesty
In note form
Always trying to escape
What is perceived as the norm.
I comfort when the need arrises
Casting out nets to the wisest.
Capturing senses of promise and wonder
Taking listeners out and yonder.
For it is the beauty of
Jazz when
It is understood.
Whether it be through the mediums of brass, hide and wood.
That makes its presence feel good.

Dancing

Tapping

Parping
N’
Harping

Sometimes
Chanting

Even ranting

Messages subliminal or not
I am the music that can make you cool
When you are hot.
An
Evolution
Of sound
That climbs from the underground.
Whilst you are digging for that
Sublime sound.
Yeah
Thatz
Jazz.

©Jason Disley 2018

Speaky Blinders

August 21st sees the return of Speaky Blinders at Peaky Blinders Bar in Paignton.

It really is going to be a blinder! There are, already an amazing group of talented wordsmiths lined up and we have our first female headliner the wonderfully witty Samantha Boarer whose poetry is personal, graphic and often about sex or social inabilities and is guaranteed to raise an eyebrow and a smile. She has recently had her debut collection published by Burning Eye Books Real Grown-Up Women and is a highly recommended read.

There will be more news about events and other projects I am involved in over the coming month. But for now enjoy the weather and all that jazz! Plus Speaky Blinders is an open mic night. So if you are in the area and like to perform spoken word or tell a few jokes please pop down and join us! JD.

Down At The Flamingo – Modernist Beat.

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of performing at the Torbay March Of The Mods where I performed five poems all accompanied by music. March Of The Mods is a wonderful charity event that takes place all around the country throughout March. It raises money for The Teenage Cancer Trust. So naturally it is an honour to be involved.

Billed as “The Beat Poet” I read five original poems:

The Weekend

Firecracker On My Mind

Hobo’s and Tramps

Speakeasy

And lastly

Down At The Flamingo.

This last poem is a firm favourite of mine.

It’s about those who used to venture to the famous Flamingo Jazz Club

In the 1960s. Which was situated on Wardour Street in Soho, London. One of the resident performers at this time was the incredibly cool and popular Georgie Fame

who like the Mods and American GI’s that used to frequently go there – was a huge fan of jazz, r& b and ska. Consequently it was a melting pot of all that was exciting in a post war Britain. Multiracial, happy and free to enjoy all that was great. This was the “Modernist” time. And that is what my poem conveys.

Here is my poem Down At The Flamingo

This poem is in my book Jazz Poetry – Improvisations in Language.

Available here :

Jazz Poetry – Improvisations in Language

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

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.