stone #24 (another stone in Japanese)

Listen to this poem in Japanese using the player above.

This one was harder for me to write than yesterday’s and I’m a bit less certain that I’ve accurately conveyed the meaning.

/ / /

Miles Davis わ “All Blues” を弾きます

Miles Davis plays “All Blues”
it’s the right idea but things aren’t that bad

/ / /

part of a river of stones

POEM: in which we cross east 27th street at high tide

Listen to this poem using the player above.

I went to see Jeff “Tain” Watts, Robert Hurst and Steve Coleman tonight at Jazz Standard. I ended up chatting with Coleman and John Szwed, author of the definitive book on Sun Ra. I put into this poem bits of our conversation, song titles and phrases inspired by the setting and performance.

in which we cross east 27th street at high tide

ancient ways, gold days & spaceways
with an iced tea & a side of fries

how’s the weather in Bahia?
here in New York the street-corner
gutter is a river with no ferry boat

so we turn the string bass on its side
use the bow as a paddle
& since Michael isn’t around
Robert rows us ashore

to the warm lands
where we will know despair no more

(catch the Hail Mary as it spills from her lips)

“how ’bout a hand for the band, the guys?
it ain’t me — we’d play all night”

stone #11

Listen using the player above.

/ / /

Gerald Cleaver is in my ears
talking about Uncle June
and the Great Migration

I’m making a smaller journey
home from the post office
where I checked for word from you

/ / /

part of a river of stones

The Jazz Session #55: The Wee Trio


Jason Crane interviews vibraphonist James Westfall, bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Jared Schonig, known collectively as The Wee Trio. Their first record, Capitol Diner Vol. 1 (Bionic Records, 2008) features original music, jazz standards … and Nirvana. The trio explores the music they love through the lens of collective improvisation, and the results are fresh, fun and worth repeated listening. Find out more at

Listen to the show.

New episodes of The Jazz Session: Fly and Barbara Dennerlein


Jason Crane interviews the members of the trio Fly: bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Jeff Ballard and saxophonist Mark Turner. Fly is very much a collective effort — the group operates with a leaderless philosophy in which everyone contributes equally. As a result, the trio has come up with some fresh and exciting sounds as they try new combinations and new ways to balance their respective instruments. All three musicians are very much in demand as sidemen, too. A full transcript of this interview is available at



Jason Crane interviews organist Barbara Dennerlein about her pipe organ recording Spiritual Movement No. 2 (Bebab Records, 2008). The album was recorded at one of Germany’s most famous churches in front of a very appreciative audience. In this interview, recorded before a concert in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Dennerlein discusses jazz on the pipe organ; why organists should use their feet; and how she adapts to the challenge of seldom having her own instrument on stage.