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Ask Me Now: Conversations On Jazz & Literature by Sascha Feinstein, editor

These 20 pieces originally appeared in Brilliant Corners: A Journal of Jazz and Literature. They’re long (often 10,000 words-plus), leisurely essays-cum-interviews of a type rarely found in periodicals anymore, even jazz periodicals like this one. All but five of the subjects are poets and/or creative writers, and one of the pleasures of the book are the writers’ jazz-influenced poem or prose excerpts prefacing their “conversations” with editor Sascha Feinstein. It’s a tantalizing peek at what must be a much larger canon of terrific, engaging poetry about jazz.

In most of the pieces, Feinstein elicits how the writers became interested in and/or heard jazz for the first time. Those stories are full of wonderful moments that any serious jazz fan will recognize and empathize with, all by gifted writers. Also sharing such moments are the jazz critics/writers Dan Morgenstern and Gary Giddins, musicians Bill Crow and Fred Hersch, and promoter/producer Hank O’Neal.

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Originally Published