Review of Jazz verse in the key of jazz  

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.

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(c) 2021 Debbie Burke

Food For Thought
  • Gloria Krolak

Updated: 5 days ago

Bobby Hutcherson was once asked what he wanted as a listener. He responded, "Jerk me around! Jerk my soul around! Make me smile and laugh. Make me sad. Make me feel like it's raining."

From Joe Locke's new CD, Subtle Disguise, when describing his tune "Make Me Feel Like

It's Raining." He does.

  • Gloria Krolak

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Judd Roth, Ruth Cooper and Jeff Hersch started something. To the small town of Flemington, New Jersey, (officially a borough, population about 4600) they brought a jazz series. With the help of local grants from Flemington Community Partnership and Hunterdon County, they've presented an increasingly popular run of jazz events. The Borough donates the use of a former bank building at 90 Main Street - complete with impressive steel-door vault. Roth invited some jazz legends and up-and-comers to perform on Saturday evenings. For five seasons (2016 – 2018) Roth has opened the doors of the now DIY Community Art Space that he shares with other local groups, to great names and superb jazz. Most recently, in the 2018 once-a-month series he welcomed the Mike Yamanaka Trio to open. Young new vibraphonist Sasha Berliner followed, and then Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet with bandoneòn player Rodolfo Zanetti. The bandoneòn, BTW, is an instrument resembling a small accordion, originating in Germany but now identified with Argentina, and totally captivating. The last performance of the season, guitarists Olli Soikkeli from Finland and Brazilian Cesare Garabini, sold out. For those in the audience – the smallish room holds about 60 - it was well worth the $15 price of admission. The duo played Brazilian jazz with its deserved intensity, explaining the “choro” form beforehand, Gypsy jazz a la Django, and Henry Mancini’s theme from the movie Two for the Road. Truly versatile guitarists. You can check out the series' truly international array of musical talent on YouTube. Then sign up for the 2019 series which begins Saturday, January 26, 2019 and features pianist Tomoko Ohno, leading a trio including Marcus McLaurine (bass) and Samuel Martinelli (drums). They will be playing music from the album, “Crossing Paths.”

Updated: 5 days ago

World-Class Vibraphonists Come to Arts Center

Jazz Vibes Showcase & Workshops

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The World Vibes Congress is a gathering of professional players, college percussion teachers, and students whose mission is to promote the vibraphone through improvisation and composition, encouraging students to play and working with teachers to develop curriculum for the instrument. For the last six years, they have met annually in New Jersey each January.

In cooperation with the World Vibes Congress, in January, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina will host four of the best vibraphone players on the music scene today. Tony Miceli, Joe Locke, David Friedman and Warren Wolf will perform on Sunday, January 6 at 2pm on the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’s mainstage.

As part of the Jazz Vibes Showcase on Sunday, January 6, the four will play individually with a rhythm section of professional musicians including Martin Lesch on piano, Chris Russell on drums, both local Island jazz celebrities, and Ron Brendle on bass, hailing from NC.

For the finale, these four incredible vibraphonists will perform together in a dynamic musical extravaganza. The mainstage performance is dedicated to the memory of Lowcountry jazz legend and owner of The Jazz Club, Bob Masteller. The event is co-sponsored by the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and Junior Jazz Foundation.

As part of the Jazz Vibes Showcase, each of the four vibraphonists will present a 4-session Workshop Experience on Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 10am-3pm. A fifth player,

West Coast native Anthony Smith, will give a fith seminar at 3pm.

The two sessions before lunch are Tony Miceli's workshop "How to Study and Work with Chords and Harmony,” and Joe Locke’s session “Inspiration and Transformation - Creating New Lines for Improvisation.” Following lunch, Warren Wolf presents “Bebop and More,” and the final session will be David Friedman’s “Vocal Phrasing on a Hunk of Metal.” Smith's presentation is to be determined. Out of town guests can take advantage of special group rates at both Sonesta Hotel (130 Shipyard Drive, HHI 29928; 843-842-2400) and Park Lane Hotel & Suites (12 Park Lane, HHI, 29928; 843-686-5700). Contact either hotel directly for rates and details, or go online to to learn more.

Showcase tickets are $40 for adults and $20 for students (ages 18 and younger). The four-session workshop is $50, which includes lunch; or $25 with an early-bird concert ticket purchased by October 12; and $35 with concert ticket purchase after October 12. Visit or call (843) 842-2787 (ARTS).

The Arts Center is located at 14 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC and is a non-profit, 501(c)-3 organization, which includes professional theater productions, a Great Performances series, as well as region-wide educational and outreach programs. Gloria Krolak is co-producing the event with financial services industry wizard, Rich Speer.

©2018 by Gloria Krolak. Site by Lydia Inglett Publishing

©Ed Berger Photography