|[ Jazz and the Beat Generation ]|
..As the Beat movement was getting underway, bebop was already going strong, especially in New York City, where 52nd Street was bustling with activity in jazz clubs up and down its length. Bebop was an innovative style of jazz which saw its heyday in the '40s, characterized by smaller combos as opposed to big bands and a larger focus on virtuosity. Bebop's renaissance came about in the heart of New York City, where musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Max Roach and Miles Davis were ushering in a new era for jazz music.
..Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and friends spent much of their time in New York clubs such as the Red Drum, Minton's, the Open Door and other hangouts, shooting the breeze and digging the music. Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis rapidly became what Allen Ginsberg dubbed "Secret Heroes" to this group of aesthetes.
..Why did jazz suddenly become such a driving force behind the writings of the Beat authors? What similarities can we find between jazz musicians and the Beats? Perhaps the most obvious comparison we can make is indicated by the very word "beat."
..The word 'beat' was primarily in use after World War II by jazz musicians and hustlers as a slang term meaning down and out, or poor and exhausted". Kerouac went on to twist the meaning of the term "beat" to serve his own purposes, explaining that it meant "beatitude, not beat up. You feel this. You feel it in a beat, in jazz, real cool jazz"......continued
[ the blackbirds are rough today]
lonely as a dry and used orchard
spread over the earth
for use and surrender.
shot down like an ex-pug selling
dailies on the corner.
taken by tears like
an aging chorus girl
who has gotten her last check.
a hanky is in order your lord your
the blackbirds are rough today
in an overnight
wine wine whine,
the blackbirds run around and
Spanish melodies and bones.
and everywhere is
the dream is as bad as
flapjacks and flat tires:
why do we go on
with our minds and
pockets full of
like a bad boy just out of
you who were a hero in some
you who teach children
you who drink with calmness
you who own large homes
and walk in gardens
you who have killed a man and own a
you tell me
why I am on fire like old dry
we might surely have some interesting
it will keep the mailman busy.
and the butterflies and ants and bridges and
the rocket-makers and dogs and garage mechanics
will still go on a
until we run out of stamps
don't be ashamed of
anything; I guess God meant it all
"The Blackbirds are Rough Today" by Charles Bukowski
...contemporary jazz... with a twist of r&b & funk...
Online Since 2001
updated: Tuesday, November 08, 2011 21:58