Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chuck Sher's "Poetry+Jazz: A Magical Marriage" audiobook CD released!

I've been a jazz musician and jazz book publisher most of my adult life, and about two years ago I also started writing poems. Then one day some real magic happened - I started reading something I'd written along with a jazz recording that had a similar emotional tone. And, seemingly all by itself, the music started wrapping itself around the words, as if it had been created specifically for that purpose, sometimes changing along with the words line by line! The feeling I got was almost spooky it was so beautiful. This turned out not to be a fluke, but happened over and over with other poems and music - like magic, like their being together was "meant to be." I felt then, and continue to feel, blessed and honored to be the conduit for these 'marriages made in heaven.'
I then started putting music with the poems of my teacher at the time, Alison Luterman, and then Rumi and Rainer Maria Rilke, Philip Levine, Mark Strand, Kenneth Rexroth and all the rest of the poets included on this CD. Again, it has been a great honor to have these profound artists be part of this project.
Then one more piece of synchronicity happened. A long-time tennis buddy of mine, Cory Bihr, gave me a Christmas present a few years ago of him reciting Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales." Cory's immense talent completely floored me and so I played him the iphone recordings I had made of the rough drafts of poetry+jazz. The rest, as they say, is history, because Cory is the now the main voice on the CD, with other tracks being performed by Coleman Barks, Rumi's most-loved translator, and Rene Marie, a great jazz singer and actress, among others.

This project took about two years to complete, largely because of the business end of things. All the living poets (or the estates of recently deceased ones) are being paid for the use of their work, all the publishers of the songs are will be getting regular royalties, all the record companies are being paid royalties for the use of their master recordings, all the readers have been paid, of course, and the studios the tracks were recorded in, etc. etc. An expensive proposition, but well worth it to me because to my ears these are uniquely beautiful, new artistic creations. I'm thrilled to have this project out and available to people who might also find great beauty in it.

Sample tracks are available at Don't miss it!

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