... poems about jazz: Off Minor at Anecdotal Evidence. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.) A particularly good point:
Oddly, few poets seemed to have understood the significance of the discipline and intelligence it takes to create this music. Rather, they seize the notion of improvisation, romanticize it and turn jazz musicians into a species of idiot savant. There is little worthwhile improvisation without a disciplined and encyclopedic knowledge of the music, the instrument and the vast songbook of American (and other) music. The apparent telepathy we see and hear among jazz musicians as they perform is rooted in hard work and dedication, not “natural rhythm.”
Which may be why Rachmaninoff was such a fan of Art Tatum.
Maybe because, as a very small child, I heard (and can remember hearing) the King Cole Trio on the radio, I have always preferred my jazz cool.