Category Archives: Poet’s Beat – Tell It Slant

Free Write Friday ~ Grace Notes by JM Fuller featuring “The Shadow of Your Smile~ Gil Fuller & Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra performed by Dizzy Gillespie

 

let-the-beauty

Happy Free Write Friday!  Wishing you a joyous holiday season filled Joy, fun, inspiration, freedom and peace…

This is an excerpt from:  The Sounds I Felt:  Improvisations on Freedom This is a Literary Companion to my father’s CD and the selection that sums up my Season of Improvisation in 1965 is “The Shadow of Your Smile” (Love Theme from the Sandpiper) I hope you enjoy it

Grace Notes

Dear Dad,

Thank you for giving me life.

Mom and God gave me all the rest.

Here’s what I have learned from my greatest teachers….

My journey began from the 1st sound of you humming the song you wrote for me.

Releasing my heart to search for the life that is waiting for me.

You were the one who taught me to dance atop your feet when you were called

To be the Conductor for the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra

The summer of 1965 would be my master class in the art of jazz improvisation.

It was a master class filled with civil, women’s rights and a cultural revolution that changed the face of American Life

August set things off.

Bringing forth a Tsunamic red tide attacking, redefining Life with discordant notes of ignorance, illiteracy, desolation, fear and destruction.

And so my song took flight.

Timing is critical in jazz as in life,

Knowing when to stop, start, step it up, slow it down

And more so,  and

oh so important is to learn how to wait thru the strife.

Jazz harmony is the theory and practice of changing chords,

where major and minor scales share the same space in a timeless             bond…

progressions depart in thirds and stacked fourths

favoring harmonic progressions where tensions in intervals                          of 9th , 11th, or 13th abound.

Learned about the search for meaning, intentions and having the blues

Finding your truth and appreciating a life of humility

‘cause the universe is misting the air with valuable clues

now you have the essence of a universal tranquility.

Notes are just window dressing a façade you create

listen to the spoken word filled with meaning

of the path and choices you debate

Play it slant is the message best heard in the evening.

Learned that being different is the integral part of the plan

pressing forward seeing how far you can reach

harmonies in real-time, flowing and ebbing broadening the span

of improvisational context is what matters in all you teach .

Learned that playing jazz has four elements

broadening your words and expressing every letter

in a charismatic way to enhance

finding your intentions and mixing all together

where freedom and coordination can really dance.

Jazz has the power to go deep within,

having a relationship with you as next of kin

surpassing arrogance into a love of sound and words

sharing that experience like the legends you’ve heard.

Now three years after your death,

I discovered in your music room the Gibson Guitar in case you                    gave to me

Nestled beneath the pristine guitar

A hand written note to me,

like in a bottle,

Uncorked my heart you wrote,

July 30, 1979

Jan,

Jazz is my language. 

Notes are all I know to tell you how much I love you,

And I know that that is not what you wanted,

I wanted to spare you the struggles I faced to be

Your dad and to express the love for my family through

Jazz without words.

So now I am going to tell you that I know you

Were secretly writing in your room.

I want you to know what I couldn’t express it in notes…

If you truly want to be a writer,

you will have to sacrifice your life.

 that words are the loves of your life. 

It is a choice that you cannot shake. 

It brings happiness, patience, love and peace.

You are miserable and tortured if you don’t write.

Self-expression is overrated when it comes to

the ‘hour of the wolf’

 when it seems that the words are discordant and fretful. 

The trick is they are your children

 be humble and allow them the love and respect that you claim for yourself. 

 I was very fortunate to have met your mother, she gave me you and your brother. 

So I did not have to make that choice alone. 

So your family is words and jazz replete with lessons on life,

discernment and discovering who you are,

who you’ve been and most of all be grateful

to God for the talent to write.  

Write your heart out, share your soul.

That is what happens to me when I am writing a song. 

The notes are my children too.  I know you think that I made your life difficult,

but you will realize some day that when you look back

it is the fuel you’ll need to be who you are.

That’s your story. 

Love Dad

In 2000, I was saved by jazz

healing my soul and my body from

breast cancer’s trials and tribulations

Finding peace on earth filled with

joyous jubilation!

I am waiting and discovering a life filled with wonder and love…

I am definitely on the right wake…

portions of hard times, mean and hurtful folks, mistakes, failures

creating a wisdom that it is

It is not the number of years in a life that matters…it is the life in the years that counts.

To this end, for all of my life coaches,

I have,

Fallen in love with sounds and words,

They are truly the grace notes that have transfromed

and healed my life.

Thank you so much,

Your loving daughter,

Jannat

Copyright © 2016 by JM Fuller/Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick/. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ https://isurvivorchick.wordpress.com/.  Readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance for any or all of this content.

 

 

Free Write Friday ~ 50 Shades of JazZen Poetics ~ Jazz Is My Religion by Ted Joans featuring a short snap of Jazz Is My Religion by Django Novo

 

When folks thought Jazz, religion was not the first consideration that came to mind back in the Roaring Twenty daze.  The new American sound called “Jazz” dropped into American life in the 20’s by challenging what it felt like to live in America as a Jazz musician.   Civil Rights, Poverty, Women’s Rights and ultimately the emancipation from society’s deadly moral clutches.  Especially impacting the Cultural Revolution through the Literary Arts, i.e., Poetry, fashion, lifestyles and mass media were transformed by this so called “basement” music  that took the United States and the World by a storm of “Tsunami” magnitude. Jazz music also exacerbated the racial tensions in the post war period.  Jazz improvisation is different in the sense of learning the process of being a musician, for instance sight singing, music theory and improvisational styles.  Well the part we never see nor realize is the reason why Monk, Miles, Coltrane, or Herbie Hancock make improvisation look so easy and simple is that they practiced till their fingers and lips bled; they listened, learned and emulated their idol’s sound to near perfection; studied jazz improvisation techniques and last but the most important ingredient is EXPERIENCE and the wisdom they gained along the way.  The thing is jazz was like studying life and the process of expressing it is where all the practice and time pay off, but you would never know it.  Why?  Because it’s their passion.  So the job, home, family took on a whole new meaning.  As always, society can’t help itself but to judge what they don’t understand.  That applies to Jazz and its literary expressions.  They are filled with the same elements of music theory like timbre, cadence, color, rhythm just to name a few and are expressions of American Life.

Ted Joans (1928-2003), a poet and artist dropped into the scene achieving notoriety as a graffiti artist spray-painting “Bird Lives” on city walls immediately after the death of Charlie Parker in 1955, he spent his entire career writing poems about jazz or that imitated jazz playing. The most popular and well read jazz poem of his is “Jazz is My Religion.” In this brief excerpt, devotion to a pure, non-commercial jazz is seen as a form of piety, the purity of the commitment matching the purity of the art, a common feeling among many jazz fans and musicians of the post-World War II era.

Also emerging at the same time as Joans was Beat poet Bob Kaufman (1925-1986), whose poetry was often improvised on the spot, frequently not written down, in much the spirit of the jazz musician.  Free Jazz was emerging and Jazz lead the way in terms the phenomenal women, the Harlem Renaissance and Free Jazz.  Religion and Spirituality has always been at the heart of all Jazz.

 

 

Jazz Is My Religion

by Ted Joans

 

JAZZ is my religion and it alone do I dig the jazz
clubs are my houses of worship and sometimes the concert halls

but some
holy places are too commercial (like churches) so I
don’t dig the
sermons there I buy jazz sides to dig in solitude Like
man/Harlem,
Harlem U.S.A. used used to be a jazz heaven where most of
the jazz
sermons were preached but now-a-days due to chacha
cha and
rotten rock ‘n’roll alotta good jazzmen have sold their
souls but jazz
is still my religion because I know and feel the message
it brings
like reverend Dizzy Gillespie/Brother Bird and
Basie/Uncle
Armstrong/Minister Monk/ Deacon Miles Davis/ Rector
Rollins/
Priest Ellington/ His funkness Horace Silver/ and the great
Pope
John, John COLTRANE and Cecil Taylor They
Preach A Sermon
That Always Swings!!

Yeah jazz is MY religion Jazz
is my story
it was my mom’s and pop’s and their moms and pops
from the days of Buddy Bolton who swung them blues to Charlie
Parker and
Ornette Coleman‘s extension of Bebop Yeah jazz is my
religion
Jazz is unique musical religion the sermons spread
happiness and
joy to be able to dig and swing inside what a
wonderful feeling

jazz is/YEAH BOY!! JAZZ is my religion and dig this:
it wasn’t for
us to choose because they created it for a damn good
reason as a
weapon to battle our blues!JAZZ is my religion and its
international all the way JAZZ is just an Afro-American
music
and like us its here to stay So remember that JAZZ is
my religion
but it can be your religion too but JAZZ is a truth that is
always
black and blue Hallelujah I love JAZZ so Hallelujah I
dig JAZZ so
Yeah JAZZ IS MY RELIGION…….

 

Thank you for swinging by…Laissez les bons temps rouler!

 

Copyright © 2016 by JM Fuller/Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick/. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ https://isurvivorchick.wordpress.com/.  Readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance for any or all of this content.

 

 

 

Saved by Freedom Beats from the Monterey Jazz Festival 1965

 

“Someday, we‘ll forget the hurt, the reason we cried and who caused us pain. … After all, what matters is not the first, but the last chapter of our life which …. Hope means no matter how bleak, all things can and do change in the blink of an eye.” …. “Two things prevent us from happiness: living in the past and judging others.”. — Unknown Author post “Love all over again

The Monterey Jazz Festival 1965 was the first place that  sound of jazz really spoke to my soul in 1965.  It was an awakening to the creative spirit that lay in wait since the day mom taught me how to sound out words at three years old.  Jazz is one of the world’s infinite musical art forms.  Genres like Acid, Avant-Garde, Big Band, Blues, Contemporary, Cool, Crossover, BeBop, Fusion and Pop songs, even Mainstream Jazz  are all of the sentient acoustics that filled and evened out our lives in times of trouble and change.   There was the Civil Rights part of the landscape, then Women’s rights, which began its rumblings in the 1920 earning its reputation for being seamy and Bohemian.  Jazz functioned as a communal bond, ritual and form of social interaction where no one needed to stand on ceremony.  It became more than just sounds to me.  It became a way of living in the world today.  I realized that I wanted to be like a song that embraced and caressed the space between the sounds.

Freedom Beats are the Liner Notes to my father’s CD that I witnessed when I awakened every morning at 5 am since I heard my father humming the song he wrote for me.  February of 1965 became the portal to the year of Jazz Improvisation and culture and CD that beautifully illustrates the possibilities of jazz and its magnificence echoing the sadness that touches all of us.  I was drafted as a student of Jazz in my father’s Master Class where Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Ralph J Gleason,  Stan Kenton and Igor Stravinsky showed me what the inside of the beat felt like.  I had no clue that this would begin with a conversation filled with betrayal and copious communication became a double bind that would distort, mute and ablate my creative spirit.  It was my first sound.  It was the precept of to a life that would take many courses and have many conversations.  It is a the reflection of my life where whole, half, ornamental, and grace notes give each of us a deeper understanding and passion for our lives.

Songs, beats, cadences are all elements that are interchangeable and negotiable with respect to getting into a rhythm of life.  Jazz is conversation.  It is an exchange of emotions that we can exchange through acoustics and if the lyrics are involved a story emerges.  Jazz is the touchstone of modern cultural imagination, archiving mythical images as well as an aesthetic paradigm, creating new modes of writing, listening, seeing and moving according to our heart’s desires.  I love using jazz improvisational elements that have emerged over the years and reflecting them by transforming them through literary forms – narrative, poems and pastiches on a jazz canvas.

Freedom Beats was inspired by witnessing each of the 20 songs on my father’s CD featured to your left.   Now life has come full circle and now I am returning to the womb so to speak ~ so the Monterey Jazz Festival Orchestra of 1965 with my father as the Conductor, arranger and composer became the first sounds that ignited the art within my soul 50 years ago.

Let’s begin  with To own the Art within the Soul by Emily Dickinson

855

To own the Art within the Soul
The Soul to entertain
With Silence as a Company
And Festival maintain

Is an unfurnished Circumstance
Possession is to One
As an Estate perpetual
Or a reduceless Mine.

Thank you so much for swinging by.  Peace Out!

Copyright © 2016 by JM Fuller/Jannat Marie/Jazzybeatchick/. All rights Reserved.

This material has been copyrighted, feel free to share it with others; it can be distributed via social media or pingbacks or added to websites; please do not change the original content and please provide appropriate credit by including the author’s name or visual artist @ https://isuvivorchick.wordpress.com/.  Readers shall not be charged by you under any circumstance for any or all of this content.