by Debbie Burke
Author of Icarus Flies Home
Sing a song of jazz titles From musicians near and far Big band, bebop, traditional Bring lyrics to where you are
Ed Berger’s photos lovingly placed In luminous black & white Accompanied by free verse from Gloria Krolak from NPR, that’s aight
In her book from 2018, NPR host and author Gloria Krolak uses the photos of Ed Berger and poetry to tell a story of the jazz life. The images are lush and convey the right mood: Lee Konitz, Christian McBride, Carol Fredette, Kurt Elling. Krolak’s free verse explores categories that song titles suggest: the passage of time through the days of the week; an address book with women’s names (“Georgia on My Mind,” “Nancy with the Laughing Face”) and anatomy (“Body and Soul,” “Sugar Hips”). Krolak is the host of “Good Vibes” and is a jazz columnist.
Photographer Ed Berger (1949-2017), who at 16 took his first jazz photo at a Louis Armstrong concert, was an author, radio host and record producer.
“Jazz Lines” is inventive, satisfying, and beautifully produced.
(c) 2021 Debbie Burke
August 20, 2021
Jerry Jazz Musician (jerryjazzmusician.com) is a non-commercial website you’ll want to bookmark. It’s all things jazz curated by Joe Maita, founded and published in Portland, Oregon in 1997. Music, culture, history, art, poetry, interviews, fiction, Maita shares the best in jazz. If it were a museum it would be the Smithsonian; if it were a book it would be Carl Sagan’s Cosmos; a magazine National Geographic. Now you get the idea of the quality represented here.
The name came from one of Woody Allen’s stand-up routines from the 1960’s. Called “Unhappy Childhood,” Allen describes traveling the subway to his clarinet lessons dressed as “Jerry Jazz Musician,” that might have included a beret and probably a beard, if he’d been able to grow one at the age of 15, when he began. This may have been his first role. Joe Maita doesn’t to act, his fascination with everything jazz is real and natural and you’ll see it when you visit his website.
The summer issue is the poetry collection, which includes a poem from my book Jazz Lines, “Sweet Jazz O’Mine.” My lighthearted dissection of jazz instrumentation stands on tiptoe trying to reach the height of insightful odes by true poets, to the giants of jazz lore like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, and many worthy others. I’m so excited to be included!
This is the second verse from Jazz Lines that Maita published at jerryjazzmusician.In the June 24, 2021 issue Maita included “Teach Me Tonight,” under the title “Thelonious Monk…and Five Poems.”
There's a hard-copy magazine down here in Hilton Head called Local Life. It's a beautiful glossy monthly that is widely read. In the April 2021 issue there is an article on me by writer Carolyn Males. Carolyn went above and beyond to learn about the vibraphone before interviewing me and she showed her in-depth understanding in writing it. She came from a musical family but the vibes were totally new to her. It was her idea to include photos of Lionel Hampton and the instrument, which makes it well-rounded.
So, it's not all about me. The vibraphone, as I see it, is the star of the show and it's all about education, education, education. Go online at locallifesc.com. The article is on the first page if you scroll down a bit.
Let me know what you think!