Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Linda Imbler Reviews the Poetry of Bill Cushing!

From time to time, I like to publish book reviews.  A while back Linda Imbler sent me her review of Bill Cushing's book.  This will whet your appetite for his book that will be coming out soon from Finishing Line Press.  


The wonderful poetry collection, Notes and Letters: A Celebration of Music and Poetry, starts off with a bang.  The first poem, “Some Notes of a Religious Nature,” is very powerful.  A later poem, “Ecco Homo,” based on the same concept as “Some Notes,” delivers an equally powerful punch. These two poems are magnificently woven within a series of poems about music and musicians or within poems which convey familiar scenes (diners, homeless, pool games, bicycling.)  

There is extremely vivid imagery of nature.  Mountains and water are prominent in these images and reflect the author’s deep love and respect for both.  “Cusqueños” and “Sailing” give that wow factor to the nod at nature.  With respect to the music, there are several brilliantly penned tributes to some great Jazz musicians a la “Music Isn’t About Standing Still and Being Safe” and “Listening to Bird.”  But, Mr. Cushing is not about to ignore the musical genres of Blues or Classical, so be sure to read “Blues For Earth” and “On Modest Mussourgsky’s ‘Bydlo’.”  

In case nature or pool games seem mundane, let me share a few poetic words from Bill Cushing’s “The Nature of Snow” (“snow settles on tree limbs and leaves like a soft wild mold”) and “At Pete’s Hut” (“cue balls scatter, clicking through the Marlboro haze.”)  Wow. This is good stuff. A highly recommended read.


If you would like to listen to Bill read his poems, this link leads to his evening on Dr. Michael Anthony Ingram's Quintessential Listening Program: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ql_p/2018/09/04/quintessential-listening-poetry--bill-cushing. This really was a wonderful episode, and I learned a lot from Bill and Michael's discussion.

Linda has also appeared on the show as well, and you will be thrilled by her poetry:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ql_p/2018/12/11/quintessential-listening-poetry--linda-imbler

Recently my husband and I went to bassist Ben Williams'  birthday bash at the fabulous Hamilton.  I'd like to post some of his YouTube videos for you.  

I'll start with his version of "Blue Monk" as a bass duo:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJFIQR7TsjA

The other bassist is Yasushi Nakamura.

Next is his version of "Things Don't Exist," a song by Goapele:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XHVHS8uDJU

I don't remember if I've posted his version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but here it is.  Some of you may remember that Robert Glasper also covered this song.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHk5JnEkR8Y

I'll finish with Williams' version of "The Moontrane": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq_rpYcAVpw

Enjoy--and have a wonderful 2019!

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