Testimony, A Tribute to Charlie Parker: With New and Selected Jazz Poems (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

By Yusef Komunyakaa

Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa is celebrated for his jazz poetry, and this booklet is the 1st to compile the verve and energy of his oeuvre. the center-piece of this quantity is the libretto Testimony. harking back to Charlie Parker, Testimony used to be commissioned for a radio drama with unique tune by way of eminent Australian composer and saxophonist Sandy Evans. Remarkably wealthy and evocative, encompassing a variety of musical power and performers, this relocating confirmation of Parker’s genius grew to become a milestone in modern radio theater. Twenty-eight extra poems spanning the breadth of Komunyakaa’s profession are integrated, together with by no means formerly released. Accompanying the poems are interviews and essays that includes Komunyakaa, Evans, radio manufacturer Christopher Williams, jazz critic Miriam Zolin, jazz author and editor Sascha Feinstein, and musical director, Paul Grabowsky. Sascha Feinstein writes the foreword.

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This can be ahead of the silver Conn acquired on time, ahead of Rebecca’s mom rented the second-floor, ahead of prophecies written on his again on the Subway membership through Buster & Prez on “Body & Soul,” lengthy sooner than Jo Jones threw these cymbals at his ft, prior to benzedrine pills in rotgut & the needle’s first chunk, sooner than he used to be bittersweet as April, while he used to be nonetheless Addie’s boy. 87 X My darling. My daughter’s loss of life shocked me greater than it did you. Don’t satisfy funeral continuing till i am getting there. I will probably be the 1st one to stroll into our chapel.

Com unique recording of Testimony (P) 2013 Australian Broadcasting company. RECORDING approved COURTESY OF AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING company. This venture is supported partly by means of an award from the nationwide Endowment for the humanities Contents Foreword, Sascha Feinstein vii half One Jazz Poems, Yusef Komunyakaa  1 Rhythm approach  three Togetherness 5 Twilight Seduction  6 lady, I received the Blues  nine Jasmine 10 Gingkoes 12 Tenebrae 13 Cante Jondo  sixteen adjustments; or, Reveries at a Window Overlooking a rustic street, with ladies conversing Blues within the Kitchen  19 an analogous Beat  22 To attractiveness  24 Ignis Fatuus  26 Pepper 27 Satchmo, USA 29 Nightbird 32 Copacetic Mingus  33 Gerry’s Jazz  34 velocity Ball  36 February in Sydney  37 The Plea  38 Elegy for Thelonious  forty Dolphy’s Aviary  forty two Gutbucket 43 Blue mild living room Sutra for the functionality Poets at Harold Park lodge  forty four the tale of a Coat  forty six No-Good Blues  forty eight Ode to the Saxophone  fifty four Coda 55 half Testimony, Yusef Komunyakaa and Sandy Evans  fifty seven The Libretto Yusef Komunyakaa’s “Testimony” and the Humanity of Charlie Parker Sascha Feinstein  sixty one Survival mask: An Interview with Yusef Komunyakaa Sascha Feinstein  sixty nine Testimony Yusef Komunyakaa  seventy nine The tune Testimony, the binds that Bind Miriam Zolin  ninety five French plant life Blooming: The track for Testimony Sandy Evans and Christopher Williams  a hundred and five Composer/Musical Director’s Notes Sandy Evans  111 Testimony, Songs and Musicians Sandy Evans  a hundred and fifteen Australian artwork Orchestra Performances Paul Grabowsky  121 Contributors 125 chosen Bibliography   131 chosen Discography 133 Acknowledgments 137 Testimony, The Recording  139 now not incorporated during this publication Foreword Sascha Feinstein In 1997, an analogous 12 months Yusef Komunyakaa accomplished “Testimony,” his libretto for Charlie Parker, he flew to Chicago to accomplish dwell with a jazz sextet led by way of multi-reed instrumentalist John Tchicai and bassist Fred Hopkins.

Now, you're taking Ikey, Charlie’s half-brother via an Italian girl, their father may take him from pal to good friend, asserting, He’s received stable hair. is that this why Charlie could disguise lower than his mattress & play useless ’til his mom kissed him wide awake? No ask yourself he lived like a floating rib in a howl whispered via brass. consistently at the movement, Charlie traversed the heart’s 9 earrings from the Ozarks to le Boeuf sur le Toit in Montmartre. notwithstanding he by no means persuaded himself to stick abroad, his first day in Stockholm glowed between fallen shadows.

Nina Simone’s down-home cry echoes theirs—Mister Backlash, Mister Backlash— as a southern breeze herds wild, bloodred roses alongside the barbed-wire fence. There’s whatever during this condo, probably these voices & Satchmo’s gold horn, refracting time & making the Harlem Renaissance reside within my head. i will listen Hughes like a river of palms over Willie ‘The Lion” Smith’s piano, & a few bare non secular releases a shadow in a reverie of gowns & crosses. 19 Women don’t follow him Like white on rice.

Operating significant palms down the upright’s huge hips, rocking his moon-eyed mistress with gold in her enamel. artwork & existence bleed into one another as he works the bow. yet this night we’re either an extended methods from the Mile excessive urban, 1973. the following in New Orleans years lower than sea point, I take heed to Pithecanthropus Erectus: Up & down, lower than & over, each which manner— thump, thump, dada—ah, convinced. wooden heavy with tenderness, Mingus hands the loom long gone on Segovia, dogging the uncooked strings unwaxed with rosin. Hyperbolic bass line.

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