Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jazz by Walter Dean Myers

I recently read a children's book called Jazz by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers. It is a collection of poems about jazz. It has a great glossary of jazz terms and a brief history of jazz in the back. I think it's a great introduction to jazz for the newbie, but it also has something to offer the more experienced jazz listener/musician.

Here is my favorite poem from the book:
Session I

Bass thumping like death gone happy
Souls dancing in 2/4 time
Lady leans against the upright
Breathing sounds and tasting the rhyme
Of her song

A shaved reed tongue is crying
In the blood dark studio
Drums add bark and grumble
As a trumpet blares something rude
"Let's get it on."

It's a field-holler melody
Dressed in a three-piece suit
A lifetime of could-have-beens
Sliding throught a silver flute
It's our song

I really like the alliteration, the imagery, the three-piece suit, and the flute.

ISBN: 0-8234-1545-7

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