[Dixielandjazz] Jazz & Poetry

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 20 06:03:48 PST 2005

on 3/19/05 10:12 PM, Charles Suhor at csuhor at zebra.net wrote:

> In case you're not just kidding, Steve, I'll try to respond. ANY
> song-lyric is a poem set to music (or a poem written to fit a melody)

So it is Poetry and Jazz, instead of Jazz & Poetry? :-) VBG)
> but Jazz & Poetry involves hearing a separately written poem (or
> sometimes an on-the-spot verbally improvised "spoken word"piece) and
> jamming some appropriate jazz behind it, picking up on the mood and
> image of the poem.

Oh? Where is that "rule" written? And who wrote it? :-) VBG.
Even so, what is the difference? The improv? Besides, don't people set
melodies to existing Poems? e,g, "Trees by Joyce Kilmer which was set to
music later. When the melody was written, it was "invented" on the spot.
Lyrics are often written first and the music added later.

> That oversimplifies, because there are lots of ways
> of doing this, e.g., another is for the poet to recite short stanzas or
> a series of haiku, and inbetween, the player improvises something
> suggested by the stanza or haiku, etc. Most rap isn't in the J&P genre
> because as I understand it, the rap backup is usually either pre-fit to
> the rap or is improvised in such a slight way that there's no
> significant instrumental invention involved.

I agree, many ways. One is to take the lyric and improvise a melody behind
it. The FIRST time that is done it could be "jazz". It was done exactly that
way in popular song writing for many years, no?
Seems to me the only difference is the venue and the audience. The process
appears to be essentially the same.

Steve Barbone

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