Jazz Without Whiskey 1995


      Jazz Without Whiskey

Jazz without whiskey, jazz without smoke

Would sound to the masses like some kind of joke.

Jazz without whiskey might bring in more folk

But somehow or other, it’s got itself yoked

To bourbon and rye, and the need to get high.

Players of jazz are usually broke,

(There’s just no respect, and neglect is the problem.)

Playing in pokey, cheap holes-in-the-wall

Where the upright’s un-tuned (if there is one at all),

Prices are high, people are drunk,

And most of the listeners think jazz is bunk;

Strange situation this! Something’s gone wrong.

The wonder is that it continues to change – in the song

And the structure – and never goes under.

But whiskey’s okay if the drinker stays calm –

Receptive and quiet while player plays on.

And if there’s applause at the end it’s a balm.

But smoke! There’s an enemy hell bent on slaying

The public, the player. In short, life aborted

By one cigarette times a hundred,

Times three hundred sixty-five unnumbered darts.

The issue is, where does the yearning

Young jazzer finds outlet, sand for the grit

In his oyster that strives for its pearl,

Bosses who care, who have taste and right wit.

(Not the churlish and burly who’ll screw any girl,

Whose aim is the buck sans the need to take part

In the needs of the player to foster his art.)?

Players rise up and open your bidding!

Break off the shackles! Well, whom am I kidding?

I’m timid, and not an example

To take you the distance to getting your due;

But I have ideals; experience too.

Maybe they’d blend to produce the right end

If there were one loner to start a new trend.

It takes balls.



Jazz Without Whiskey 95.5.10Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin



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