An Author's Assemblage: Brief Notes and Notices

The accumulation of posts to this web page serves merely as an author’s assemblage of brief notes and notices: the collection of informal bits of information, quotations, and observations gathered as one way to display a personal reflection of perceptions on poetry, publication, and related selections of material drawn from my perspectives as a poet or professor of literature and creative writing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nat Hentoff: Billie Holiday's Lyricism

Nat Hentoff describes the importance of rhythm and phrasing for lyricism: “Billie Holiday, toward the end of her life, tired, playing a gig where the money was bad, the audience uncertain. Her voice hoarse and cracked, she starts to speak more than sing the verse to a song. But her beat is so pulsatingly supple, her phrasing so evocatively hornlike, that her speech is music, and the audience is caught in her time.”—From Jazz Is (Limelight Editions, 1976)

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