Friday, February 06, 2009

Poetry Friday: Jazz ABZ

Marsalis, Wynton. 2005. Jazz ABZ.

This is a poetry ABC book dedicated to all things jazz. Okay, maybe not all things jazz. But it's a start. 26 jazz musicians. 26 poetry forms. Great potential, right? The book starts off--as well it should--with Louis Armstrong--and ends with Dizzy Gillespie. In between we've got artists like Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. The book is illustrated by Paul Rogers. The poetic forms covered--how many have you heard of???--are: accumulative, blues, list, word play, meter play, preached, limerick, substitution, performance, ode, insult, lyric, free verse, nursery rhyme, abstract, pantoum, acrostic, rondeau, beat poem, haiku, calligram, sonnet, prose, ballad, tanka, and skeltonic verse.

I can see Jazz ABZ serving several purposes: for jazz enthusiasts, for music appreciation, for poetry appreciation. The last two especially might be something for teachers to consider. A great crossover option as well...seeing how students could connect the music of these artists with the history and culture of the jazz age...and perhaps discuss how these poems succeed (or fail for that matter) to do the artists justice. Would you be able to write a poem on a favorite musician? Would you be able to do it in a structured way? I know I couldn't do it. But I'm glad that Marsalis did!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Unknown 7:34 AM  

This is Uriah from Into the Book (

I was thinking maybe we could trade links or something like that. Tell me what you think!


In Him,

Douglas Florian 9:24 AM  

Looks like the designer had jazzzzzy fun

Serena 10:22 AM  

This sounds like a great book to introduce to kids and get them into poetry...reminds me of Nikki Giovanni's Hip Hop for Children.

Debi 10:50 AM  

Oooooh, this looks so good! I think I love absolutely everything about it!

Kelly Polark 11:08 AM  

Thanks for this recommendation. I have been submitting a Rock n Roll ABC book...I'll have to check this Jazz one out!

Yat-Yee 1:11 PM  

Wynton Marsalis is such an amazing musician, and tireless in reaching out to people with his music.

Thanks for the review.

Annie 1:39 PM  

Becky, this combines two of my favorite things - music and wordplay. This goes on my list of books to buy. Thanks for the recommendation.

susan 8:15 PM  

We have this in our library. A friend donated it. I think it is beautiful and appealing even if kids don't know much about jazz.

Marinela 1:37 PM  

I'll have to check this Jazz one out!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP