Jazz Speaks!

Heirloom 1, Marissa Levien



Jazz speaks
in a language all its own,
mysterious and compelling.
Captivates people of every age.
Regales with melody, rhythm and pattern.

Jazz speaks
an original American creation.
An amalgam of the greats—
Straight ahead, bebop, fusion,
avant-garde, swing.
Flavors so rich and mesmerizing.

Jazz speaks
Harlem Renaissance,
the great experiment.
Instrumental and vocal improvisation—
each performance a unique gift.
Instruments pay tribute to stellar voices,
Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith.
Voices imitate instruments in a thrilling way.
Duke Ellington, Carmen McRae, Cab Calloway.
The balmy voice of Sarah Vaughan,
The mellifluous Ella Fitzgerald.

Jazz speaks
a sultry, syncopated beat,
Trill of the Trumpet!
Louis A. and Basie,
Coltrane’s horn,
Bebop that doesn’t stop.
Thelonious Monk,
Style setter.
Jelly Roll Morton, Art Tatum, Fats Waller,
Horace Silver’s evocative tunes,
such incomparable sound.
Soothing guitar notes,
that float from Kenny Burrell.
Magnificent Art Blakey on the drums
and Miles to go before I sleep.

Jazz speaks
in the euphonious voices of Dinah Washington,
Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr.,
Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Jazz speaks
in bandleader and composer Charles Mingus,
who also made magic on piano and bass.
The saxophone of Stan Getz.
The magnificent piano of Gene Harris and Vince Guaraldi.
An audiophile’s delight,
the trilling trumpet of Miles Davis,
The melodious Oscar Peterson Trio.

Heirloom 2, Marissa Levien

We hear you Jazz
and celebrate our love for you.
Music to match one’s every mood.
Command the space,
shine like the sun,
flow like gentle ocean waves.
We hear you perfect scene setter,
accompaniment for all occasions.
Sitting meditation,
cloud gazing on an easy summer day,
scribing stories about the one that got away.
Picnicking in the park,
date night,
dinner prepping,
painting a masterpiece,
sculpting a treasure.
Sanity salve for that drive
on the 101 and the 405!

Jazz, how do we love thee?
We cannot count the ways.
All we ask is that you keep thrilling us,
surprising us, each and every day.
Jazz, you are alive
and infuse us with your magic.
Yet you stay, always a touch elusive.
Entranced as we are,
we can do nothing
but lavish praise most effusive.



Beverly Glass is a Jazz aficionado who lives in Los Angeles. She began writing at an early age and has never stopped. She writes short stories and poetry.