Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Where's The Jazz?

They had names

for the sounds they would make

and a love for

all things alive, like

music, damp city streets

and the ocean.

They would lay their hands

on old piano keys

and make them sing again.

Breath new life

into old brass

and make it squeal


They had

SaltPeanuts. Salt


They had soul.

They had music.

They had Bop

and what do we have?

Where is Charlie Parker?

Where is Dizzy?

Where is jazz?


Mac said...

I always wanted to write about rock and roll the way Kerouac wrote about jazz.

Now I'm not sure it's possible. The music lead him to write that way. He didn't have it in him. He pulled it all from the music.

joe said...


I've been listening to Jack Kerouac radio on LastFM and that's what inspired this. All the old jazz coupled with the recorder readings of Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and even some Langston Hughes. Sometimes, they would even be reading to jazz.

The one that really did it for me though was Kerouac's "History of Bop". You can really see his love for the sounds in that one.

It's almost unsettling. We don't have scenes like that anymore. Even the few little jazz clubs I've been to in Brooklyn seem a little stuffy and stuck-up.