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Blue Trailings: Sparks and Cinders

Katie Carter & Anthony Swann
Katie Carter & Anthony Swann

Anthony Swann's poetry takes readers inside the back alley door of the jazz world.

There's a kind of emotional release that I and I'm sure millions of people get when they listen to jazz and that's what's most important to me, because there's a sense of freedom in it. As hard as your life might be at the moment, you listen to that jazz and it just lets you go. It lets you be free inside and happy...I was a real serious little guy… all bottled up inside emotionally…But when I heard Louis Armstrong, man, that was it. Whoa. I became a jazz aficionado and I've been chasing jazz ever since… These poems are parts of my trailing...from my journeys, like the train left those sparks and cinders. – Anthony Swann

From I've Been Your Friend, Jazz:
"I've been your friend, jazz, and you've been good to me.
I followed you around wherever you said you'd be..."

Anthony Swann’s newest collection of poetry, Blue Trailings: Sparks and Cinders takes readers on a journey thru the jazz world that only a person who has experienced something from the inside can. The book is a whole vibe of a reading experience, a look at a world and scene Anthony is uniquely situated to share. From living in the Mission District in San Francisco and following the jazz scene there, to working as a cook on a passenger train following music across the country, to owning a jazz coffee shop and traveling to South America to lap up the beats there, Anthony's soulful poems envelop a reader and groove right off the page simultaneously.

Cannonball Adderley, Lil Hardin Armstrong, King Oliver, Charlie Bird Parker, Dave Brubeck, a love letter to his friend Jazz, the basic elements and abridged history of jazz and the blues in America, and samples of poetry that take you to the heart of the scene.. all that and more are included in this Area Voices! Click the green bubble above for the story!

From I Keep Salsa Going in my Head...
I hear congas laying a foundation beat solid as African earth
the bassist building a frame for a house of song,
timbales spitting out orgies of sharp rhythm
while flutes and trumpets dance above
teasing melody which the pianist flourishes.

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Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. She returned for a second stint in 2016-23. She produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota.