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Blog, News and Happenings

I had already planned to write a blog about International Jazz Day (April 30, 2016), focusing on an amazing new book called Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgil.  But then I read a fantastic article in Children & Libraries, the journal for the Assocation for Library Service to Children -- These Books Are Not Quiet: Bebop, Blues, Swing, and Soul: Jazz in Children's Books by Darwin L. Henderson, Brenda Dales, and Teresa Young.  And now I can't help myself from also sharing some of the jazz books they loved.  "Music and musicians are represented in visual and textual styles that mix and balance, amplify and absorb, like the sound that jazz makes . . . . It is a combination of cultures, elements, and vibrations that embrace the soul."   Sounds good, doesn't it?

  • Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History by Lesa Cline-Ransome (2014)
    J  781.65  CLI
  • Celebrates the 1936 debut of the Benny Goodman quartet with Teddy Wilson in Chicago, considered to be the first widely seen integrated jazz performance.
  • Bird & Diz by Gary Golio (2015)
  • When sax player Charlie "Bird" Parker and trumpeter John "Dizzy" Gillespie make music together, they toss notes back and forth like a game of tag and chase each other with sounds.
  • The Cosmo-biography of Sun Ra by Chris Raschka (2014)
    JB  SUN
  • A one-hundredth birthday tribute to the late jazz artist explores his observations about humanity's discriminatory and violent behaviors as well as his efforts to forge world peace through music with the Sun Ra Arkestra.
  • Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney (1998)
    JB  ELL
    A brief recounting of the career of this jazz musician and composer who, along with his orchestra, created music that was beyond category.
  • How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz by Jonah Winter (2015)
    JB  MOR
    Riffs on the language and rhythms of old New Orleans to focus on one of America's early jazz heroes
  • Jazz by Walter Dean Myers (2006)
    E  MYE
    Celebrates the roots of jazz music.
  • Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph by Roxane Orgil (2016)
    J  811  ORG
    When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn't own a good camera, didn't know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians' mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer's day. Francis Vallejo's vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author's note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane's famous photograph. 
  • Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo and Diane Dillon (2007)
    J  781.65  DIL

    Bright colors and musical patterns make music skip off the page in this toe-tapping homage to many jazz greats. From Miles Davis and Charlie Parker to Ella Fitzgerald, here is a dream team sure to knock your socks off.
  • Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World by Marilyn Nelson (2009)
    J  811  NEL
  • A look at a 1940's all-female jazz band, that originated from a boarding school in Mississippi and found its way to the most famous ballrooms in the country, offering solace during the hard years of the war.
  • Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews (2015)
    E  920  AND

    Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.

The title of this blog is the title of a new book of poetry by Bob Raczka.  It is filled with shaped poetry, meaning the words on the page convey the outline of objects.  But Raczka takes it a step further -- using letter arrangements and shapes in each poem's title, too!  Students will never look at concrete poetry or "word paintings" in the same way again after reading Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems.

The title of this blog could also imply that there will be more than one book of concrete poetry featured in this post.  That's why I made sure to also include the following titles.