"J A Z Z  f r o m   t h e   Be l l y   o f   t h e  B L U E S"

Jazz/Blues poster with marching trumpeter
Jazz swirls from the
Belly of the Blues
Brings us laughter.

As the saying goes, we laugh to
Keep from crying. Our universal
Gut does cry -  but,
Seeking sanity, we put on the
Happy face of Jazz. 

This poster sets the stage! A Jazz Trumpeter marches forth, announcing the unified presence of  JAZZ and The BLUES.  The poster's message is made readable above. The words and image seem a fitting  introduction to the essence of a book titled:
"JAZZ From The Belly OF The BLUES"

Poster available. Click here.

Are you old enough to "remember . . . when?" . . . .  Not old enough to "remember . . .when", but wonder what it was like, "back then"? Explore this 75yr jitterbug dance that partners JAZZ development with its comparable years of our American History.

At some point you might want to "Google" and read "The Complete Guide To Jazz". The author, Alan Axelron, Ph.D., says, "Jazz (draws on) the feelings associated with living in this nation over the past century or so. To appreciate and savor jazz is to know something more about ourselves."  I strongly concur with that sentiment.

Believe me, Jazz was part music and part mayhem. It was a means to explosively escape those societal confinements of "you can't come in here, eat here, sit here, use this facility, do this job, live in this neighborhood, go to this school, etc".  Jazz served as a pressure valve of the soul. Jazz allowed spirit enhancing self expression, from get-down, no-holds-barred dance movements; to melodious moments of dress-up sophistication and refinement.

Jazz explored magical, mystical fly notes and other dynamic means that could lift your spirits and make you smile in spite of yourself. Well, Ma-a-aybe you could be satisfied to sit and perhaps tap your toes on occasion, without committing to an actual dance. But, most of the time it was absolutely necessary to get onto that dance floor and fling the cobwebs and constraints of your life to the farthest corners of a restricted life. The Blues just had to go. Then, of course, there may have been some soulful sounds that would invite you to question the meaning or direction of your life; but those chords were generally smothered in an exuberant dance hall such as the one at Rosedale Beach.

Eventually, the term "Free Jazz" came into play. As a swirling, freely played, nonconforming musical style, Free Jazz conjured up wild, improvisational possibilities to swell your lungs and help you breathe deeply as you sat with glass or life shortening cigarette in hand and listened. Actually, one might hesitate to approach the dance floor - not knowing when or which beat should correspond with putting your lifted foot onto the floor.

Then there was, and sometimes still can be found, another kind of Free Jazz: Jazz music located in some summer's local parks, or on some toss-a-coin-into-the-hat urban street corners; or even in damp underground subways.

trumpeter and bassist play music on street corner

All of those were (and are) wonderful kinds of Free Jazz. . . . .But! Now, let's  think of another kind of "Free" - a "Free" that says: Here is a special book for which no money needs to leave your hands!

Book: This book is not only free; but feisty and filled with more than a few fun images. The history is truly what you might call a "her"/story .

As an American Jazz Book, it will entertainingly speak of some serious subjects related to life here in America

We invite you to appreciate each chapter's quick read at a slow, thoughtful pace - with time-out for "ah, yes" smiles.

Join me in this hold-in-your-hand guided, cross-cultural stroll through the years.

You probably realize that in spite of being proclaimed as America's most original music, JAZZ has been mightily maligned through the years and treated as the devil's own discord.

Co-opted and supposedly sanitized, JAZZ nevertheless, circles around and manages to slip on by with its down-home BLUES and its challenging beat intact.

I say "Thank you" to Louisiana's own, Lincoln Center's own, our world's own famed and acclaimed Wynton Marsalis, young enough for me to have been his adult baby sitter. Thank you for all of your forceful and far-reaching focus toward keeping JAZZ alive.

I say :"Thank you" to Britain's own super accomplished Jazz pianist, composer, and altogether important American national treasure, Marian McPhartland. Ms. McPhartland has been a long time promoter of her own good works along with that of a multitude of other noted Jazz musicians, particularly during her talk shows as Host on Maryland's NPR radio station. She has been around long enough to have been my  baby sitter. Her longevity has been notably kind to America's preservation of Jazz music.

 Speaking of preservation, let us speak of New Orlean's  Preservation Hall. Did it survive Katrina's devastating flood? It did! But! The homes of five of its seven resident band members did not survive (as with a multitude of other homes).

Now, with the more recent devastation of the Gulf oil spill, involving New Orleans and much of the Gulf area, there must continue to be strategic and ongoing efforts of recuperation.

New Orleans has been and hopefully will be, once again, full of jazz musicians for many years to come.  www.renewourmusic.org is one of the organizations formed to help with New Orleans' Jazz music restoration. A special goal is to help connect musicians with instruments and gigs in order to pick up the pieces, revive, uphold and perpetuate New Orleans' unique musical culture. I invite you to check their website and determine what you can do to help in the continued efforts toward the renewal of New Orleans as a Jazz Mecca.

AND, I invite YOU to read this whole book, Jazz from the Belly of the Blues.

You will be offered ten adventurous chapters, five of which are titled
    1.   Jazz In The Attic -- away from it all
    2.   Uncle Noah's Park -- my "Rosedale"  
    3.   Live Jazz In The Farmhouse -- mystery in the closet
    4.   Given The Blues -- make Jazz
    5. The Ranges Of Changes - the razz-ma-tazz
of all that Jazz        
    6. - 10. You would like to know more? 

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  • free book chapters,
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  • my own unique prints, posters and greeting cards
  • and more:

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Our jazzy chapters are being presented one-by-one. The verbal aspects will reflect the music - sometimes lively and gay; sometimes with expressed dismay. Always, there will be original, colorful, expressive paintings with which your mind can play. Some old photos, too. Stay with us.

Until the tenth chapter is published, there will be no cost involved. The chapters in the ARCHIVES will eventually be pdf enabled so you can print them from your own computer without difficulty.

Some say they can print directly from these pages as they are now. It would be good to print
for your comfortable hold-in-your-hands personal (non-commercial) use only!  All Rights Reserved. Audio and/or DVD offerings are planned for the future.

JAZZ IN THE ATTIC  -  away from it all

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