"I'm Just the Drummer in the Band" 

I'm Just the Drummer in the Band is my book of 100 poems about jazz musicians from Jelly Roll Morton to Keith Jarrett, and everybody in between.

It is now available as an e-book!!  You can buy it from Kindle, from Barnes & Noble, from Apple's iBookstore; from Kobo, from Sony, from Scribd.  Over the next several weeks, it will become available for other e-readers. 

You can also buy a printed copy directly from me for $25 + $5 for mailing by e-mailing me.

You can listen to a live radio reading of nine of…

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The Beat 

Time the flow of motion in the beat from the drum called Heart Beat the pulse of time the flow of rhythm, the blood of life

Jazz I 

The master being a vulture took away the drum but couldn't suppress the culture All the yokes and collars could not stop the inevitable field hollers we gave Christianity a spritual to keep our souls alive New Orleans the beginning African concepts played on European instruments Creole sprits mixed with Voodoo communication [Voilà-Art] with the New American Nation King Oliver Jelly Roll Buddy Bolden Bessie Louis Johnny and Baby Dodds It was a Renaissance against…

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Jazz 2 

The music was lifted then the scene shifted Kansas City sessions regional bands life on a bus for most of us World War II but we knew what to do "Be Bop" first they said we were lazy [now - Black Art] we "must" be crazy but we made our own sequel which put us equal Bird, Dizzy, Monk and the rest while those silly critics thought "they" knew who was best Miles and Gil [the Cool School] Silver and Blakey [Hard Bop] Ornette and Trane [the Avant Garde] why do…

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Duke 

From the very first inning his was a royal beginning although not everything was easy growing up in D.C. young Edward learned to take things in "stride" especially the piano a scholarship to Pratt no, Ellington didn't want it like that music not art would become his mistress in New York and on the scene where Willie the Lion and James P. Johnson nightly convened enter The Cotton Club (brothers, keep your composure) would become the zenith for nationwide exposure…

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Pres 

He leaped in and then leapt out Lester Young always spoke softly never shout but left no doubt about the Presidency The Kansas City Kid of a million sessions that first famous Basie Band the logical progression with the pork pie hat and the horn at an angle even Hawk and Chu Berry found it tough to tangle he finally got his "Due" although some said too late the one word for Pres would have to be Great

Billie 

The pulled back hair that intriguing stare blood red lips over smooth sensuous hips Her primal cry the ultimate high an artistic sleuth delivering the actual truth perhaps the strangest of fruit

Nat 

"Unforgettable" that's what he is "Cool" King Cole The Nature Boy who sprung from Montgomery to Chicago from church choir to nightclub pianist Out in California where his gig with "Shuffle Along" landed an act of stolen funds left the band stranded He Ssid "After a while it got to the point of playing in every Los Angeles beer joint" But there the "Trio" was born smooth they didn't need a horn or a drummer either every night they worked the audience into a fever…

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Dizzy 

In case you haven't heard he started it all him & Bird Be Bop that is coming north out of Carolina he was a catalyst for a music much finer He took Calloway's Cab to Mr. B's Band spent "A Night in Tunisia" then formed his own t'was grand T.C.B. was John Birks Gillespie's middle name he was smart enough to play the State Department's game Kings, Queens Presidents, ordinary people and others all seemed to be when with him like sisters & brothers (Con Alma) with…

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Bird 

"The first shall be last and the last shall be first" Charlie Parker came out of Kansas City with a thirst to be first Virgo pure opening a new musical door. "Be Bob"! can anything be ahead of its time? or is everybody else behind? Bird blew everyone's mind