Today is International Jazz Day, a worldwide celebration of jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. Here are four Seren titles you can celebrate with.
On the Beach with Chet Baker by Robert Seatter
“Presence and absence, some sort of together” (‘On the Beach with Chet Baker’). These are the three places that Robert Seatter’s second book of poems explores, with deftness, insight and artistry. They move from places of stasis and memory, through the uneasy proximities of love captured in the moody jazz trumpet of the title poem, and out to the uncharted spaces that loss and death can create.
“…emotional engagement in abundance”. –Planet
Out of Nowhere by Roger Granelli
White British guitarist Frank Magnani arrives in fifties New York to break into the smoky world of jazz. Coming home from the austerity of post-war Europe to a land of plenty he finds there’s plenty to learn. His education is not confined to music alone, he also finds himself in a world where ego is everything, the musicians are black, and the drink and drugs are the fuel of creativity. Caught up in the violence of the city, Magnani flees on a journey through the southern provinces and his own mental state too. His personal odyssey is complete when he returns to the club scene of New York in a dramatic climax to his career and this atmospheric novel.
Sax Burglar Blues by Robert Walton
Sax Burglar Blues by Robert Walton is packed with memory, incident, observation, opinion, humour, outrage and elegy. Subjects include: woodlice, jazz, teachers, grandparents, a canary who runs for President, Sisley’s lovely painting of the Gower, the iconoclastic poet John Tripp, a night bus named after Dusty Springfield, a Dad who loves Cardiff City, the annoying closure of bookshops and much more.
‘Dip into Walton’s jazzed-up version of the world and you will inevitably surface from the pages in a brighter hue.’ – Wales Arts Review
The Roots of Rock by Peter Finch
Peter Finch follows the trail of twentieth century popular music from a 1950s valve radio playing in a suburban Cardiff terrace to the reality of the music among the bars of Ireland, the skyscrapers of New York, the plains of Tennessee, the flatlands of Mississippi and the mountains of North Carolina. The Roots of Rock mixes musical autobiography with an exploration of the physical places from which this music comes. It is a demonstration of the power of music to create a world for the listener that is simultaneously of and beyond the place in which it is heard.
Find these and many more great titles on the Seren website.
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