Free jazz

A concept poem

Authors

  • Maurice Windleburn University of Melbourne

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.22892

Keywords:

Free Jazz, Ornette Coleman, Uncreative Writing, conceptual writing, jazz poetry, Ornette Coleman

Abstract

This concept poem ekphrastically manifests Ornette Coleman’s landmark album Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation. Separated into two columns, the piece features the work of two quartets of poets, reflecting Coleman’s own separation of his double quartet ensemble into left and right recording channels. The poets Bob Kaufman, Jayne Cortez, Cecil Taylor and Lawrence Ferlinghetti are the quartet in the left column; Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, M. NourbeSe Philip and Boris Vian are the quartet in the right. The work of these poets has been scrambled and interwoven in the first and third-from-last stanzas, mimicking the two polymelodic interludes found in Coleman’s album. The remaining stanzas either combine lines from a quartet of poets or are entirely from the work of a single poet, who ‘solos’ against the quartet in the adjacent column (again, mimicking the general structure of Coleman’s album).

Author Biography

Maurice Windleburn, University of Melbourne

Maurice Windleburn holds a PhD in Musicology from the University of Melbourne. His research interests include avant-garde music and ekphrastic relations between music and other artforms. He has published his work in various musicological and interdisciplinary journals, including Organised Sound, Tempo, and the Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics. He is currently preparing a book, John Zorn’s File Card Works: Hypertextual Creativity in Composition and Analysis, to be published with Routledge.

References

Baraka, A. (1979) AM/TRACK. New York: Phoenix Bookshop.

Cortez, J. (2006) ‘Into This Time, For Charles Mingus’. In Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry by African Americans, ed. A. Lynn Nielsen and L. Ramey, 74–76. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.

Ferlinghetti, L. (1958) ‘Dog’. In A Coney Island of the Mind, 67–68. New York: New Directions Books.

Hughes, L. (1961) ‘Blues in Stereo’. Poetry 98/5: 288–89.

Kaufman, B. (1965) ‘Walking Parker Home’. In Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness, 11–12. New York: New Directions Books.

NourbeSe Philip, M. (1988) ‘Dream Skins’. In She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks, 6–8. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25071/1923-9408.23556

Taylor, C. (2006) ‘Scroll No.2’. In Every Goodbye Ain’t Gone: An Anthology of Innovative Poetry by African Americans, ed. A. Lynn Nielsen and L. Ramey, 246–49. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.

Vian, B. (1984) ‘Surprise-party’. In Cent sonnets, 41. Paris: Christian Bourgois Éditeur.

Published

2022-12-20

How to Cite

Windleburn, M. (2022). Free jazz: A concept poem. Jazz Research Journal, 15(1-2), 132–135. https://doi.org/10.1558/jazz.22892