Ask Me Now

Ask Me Now

Conversations on Jazz and Literature
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/18/2007
Format: Paperback 20 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-21876-6
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Ask Me Now explores the relationship between the language of music and the music of language with 20 conversations on jazz and literature. Writer, editor, and saxophonist Sascha Feinstein gathers a variety of artists, poets, musicians, fiction writers, essayists, playwrights, and record producers for discussions on the elusive but engaging relationships between jazz and literature.

Featured artists include central figures of the Black Arts Movement such as Amiri Baraka, Jayne Cortez, Haki R. Madhubuti, and Sonia Sanchez as well as distinguished music critics Gary Giddins, Dan Morgenstern, and Eugene B. Redmond. Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry Yusef Komunyakaa and Philip Levine, outstanding jazz musicians Bill Crow and Fred Hersch, and several writers who cross literary genres: Hayden Carruth, Cornelius Eady, David Jauss, William Matthews, Lee Meitzen Grue, John Sinclair, and Al Young all contribute their thoughts to the book.

Author Bio

Sascha Feinstein is Professor of English at Lycoming College, where he co-directs the Creative Writing Program and edits Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz & Literature. He is author of Jazz Poetry: From the 1920s to the Present (IUP, 1991) and has won the Hayden Carruth Award for his poetry collection, Misterioso. He lives in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.


This is the most interesting, in—depth, valuable, and various account of the connection between jazz and literature ever put into print.

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Table of Contents


1. Better You Say It First / Amiri Baraka
2. Those Upward Leaps / Hayden Carruth
3. Returning to Go Someplace Else / Jayne Cortez
4. Just a Matter of Time / Bill Crow
5. Did Your Mama Hear Those Poems? / Cornelius Eady
6. Legwork / Gary Giddins
7. The House as Open Ground / Lee Meitzen Grue
8. Respiration and Inspiration / Fred Hersch
9. Stolen Moments / David Jauss
10. Survival Masks / Yusef Komunyakaa
11. Detroit Jazz in the Late Forties and Early Fifties / Philip Levine
12. Where the Call Needs to Be Heard / Haki R. Madhubuti
13. Mingus at the Showplace / William Matthews
14. Consideration / Dan Morgenstern
15. The Greatest Equalizer in the World / Hank O'Neal
16. Levels of the Blues / Eugene B. Redmond
17. Cante Jondo / Sonia Sanchez
18. Ask Me Now / John Sinclair
19. Makes Me Feel Like I Got Some Money / Al Young
20. Something to Believe In / Paul Zimmer