444

Reaching Into The Unknown 1964-2009

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Reaching Into The Unknown 1964-2009
Jacques Bisceglia/Steve Dalachinsky
softcover; 440 pages
ISBN: n/a
Rogue Art
2009

Jazz and modern poetry seem ideally suited, in temperament if not exactly aesthetic. Though it is designed to mimic the cadences of a freeform improvisation, jazz poetry is still a constructed art form with the benefit of the editorial process. But that does not diminish how much poetry has been directly inspired by jazz and jazz musicians and how that relationship has worked in both directions.

Reaching Into The Unknown is actually the convergence of poetry and jazz, but with the latter one step removed. The over 400-page tome, the second book published by the French record label Rogue Art, features numerous photos by French impresario Jacques Bisceglia (of BYG-Actuel fame/notoriety) alongside the poetry of New Yorker and self-described curmudgeon Steve Dalachinsky. That these men speak of each other as kindred spirits in their introductions may allude to the mixed emotions they engender on two continents.

Bisceglia's photos cover a wide range of jazz musicians shot by him primarily throughout France over the last five decades. There are wonderful shots of Charles Mingus, Don Cherry, Sonny Rollins, Charles Gayle, Barre Phillips, Marion Brown and Mal Waldron, Joelle Leandre, Peter Brotzmann, even Ayler and Coltrane, to name just enough to give a sense of the range.

Accompanying them (or is it the other way round, one of the interesting things to consider) are Dalachinsky's poems, usually written around concerts he has seen in New York: Cecil Taylor at the Village Vanguard, Ran Blake at the Knitting Factory, Anthony Braxton at Iridium. His style springs from the innovations of Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti and often relies on its layout for maximum effect. His poetry is not for the uninitiated though one has to admire his sincerity and way of turning a phrase.

The book is a success in that it seeks only to present two men's relationship with jazz and each other, a heartfelt tribute to a powerful music.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read "Jazz Festival: Jim Marshall" Book Reviews Jazz Festival: Jim Marshall
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Altamont: The Rolling Stones, The Hell's Angels and The Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day" Book Reviews Altamont: The Rolling Stones, The Hell's Angels and...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities" Book Reviews Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.