The Jazz Fly


Sign in to view read count
The Jazz Fly
Matthew Gollub
Karen Hanke
Tortuga Press
ISBN 1889910171

The Jazz Fly is one cute character, with big bug eyes (literally), decked out in black tie and tux. You see, he's a drummer late for his gig in the city. Trouble is, he doesn't know how to get there from the countryside. Animals he asks for directions just don't understand when he says "Za-baza, Boo-zaba, ZEE-zah Ro-ni?" The answer in their own languages, with "Rrribit", "Oink!", "Hee Haw!" and "Rruff!".

Eventually The Jazz Fly finds his quartet, the Jazz Bugs (Willie the Worm on bass, Nancy the Gnat on sax, Sammy the Centipede on piano). They entertain a club full of beetles, maggots and locusts dining by firefly light. But the queen bee who runs the club isn't satisfied. She wants a new sound. I'll let you discover what the Jazz Fly comes up with to save the day.

The accompanying CD includes several styles of high-spirited jazz (including boogie woogie and modal) and writer/drummer Matthew Gollub's hipster narration, aided by the other Jazz Bugs echoing some of the scat.

The Jazz Fly, in 32-page picture book format, is quite appealing, with an interesting mix of computer-enhanced illustration combining black-and-white and muted colors. Gollub's reading is terrific but speedy. I agree with his suggestion that readers try their own rhythms. They may also want to try their own tempo. (Illustrated by Karen Hanke. From Tortuga Press, 2000, with CD. Hard cover, $17.95; publisher says it's for children two years and up).


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read "Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie" Book Reviews Paul Morley: The Age of Bowie
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "The Free Musics by Jack Wright" Book Reviews The Free Musics by Jack Wright
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities" Book Reviews Dafnis Prieto: A World Of Rhythmic Possibilities
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "50 Summers of Music: Montreux Jazz Festival" Book Reviews 50 Summers of Music: Montreux Jazz Festival
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert" Book Reviews Man Of The Light: The Life And Work Of Zbigniew Seifert
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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