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Brilliant Corners - Summer 2007

  • Issue Number: Volume 11 Number 2
  • Published Date: Summer 2007
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

Brilliant Corners, “A Journal of Jazz and Literature” celebrates its tenth anniversary with this Summer 2007 issue, featuring numerous tributes to the late Whitney Balliet as well as poems, interviews and children’s poetry about jazz. For those like me wholly unfamiliar with The New Yorker jazz critic Balliet, you may be disappointed with the narrow scope of the journal. As subject, he occupies nearly the entire issue. This modest journal of jazz is still a blessing. Just like the slice of a hi-hat, its pacing is right on. Kim Addonizio and Ira Sardoff offer up some on-topic and splendiferous poetry. And Susan Weiner’s non-fiction piece, “Like Jelly Beans Falling On My Head,” describes the joys of teaching jazz to elementary school students for African American History Month. The most illuminating piece on Balliet is the interview conducted by Sascha Feinstein. You get the true crankiness and brilliancy of this lauded man’s temperament and his writing style, which is said to be synesthestic. For example, Ben Ratliff quotes Balliet as saying a piece of music had a “wheat-moon sound.” The jazzmen and writers who show up in Brilliant Corners give a good but incomplete view of Balliet. Any jazz fan should give this journal at least one shot or wail or riff. There’s sure to be some corner that will shine.

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Review Posted on July 31, 2007

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