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Jazz Day
by Roxane Orgill
Book Jacket
Book list From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780763669546 *Starred Review* In 1958, Esquire was preparing an issue on American jazz, and graphic designer Art Kane pitched the idea of getting as many jazz greats together as possible for a black-and-white photograph. So far, not much here to grab a young audience, right? But sometimes books, like music, are more than the sum of their hooks. Orgill, who has written about jazz for adults (and Ella Fitzgerald for children) is here paired with artist Vallejo, a welcome newcomer to the world of picture books, and they offer a memorable ode to a time and place, a celebration of music that was both hot and cool, and an endearing snapshot of the men and women who wrote, played, and sang jazz. Kane's photograph, Harlem, 1958, is here immortalized in Orgill's poetry, which swings and sways, and Vallejo's vibrant artwork, which captures not just the players but the mood on 126th Street where the photo shoot took place. That there were kids there on that day, leaning out of windows and grabbing Count Basie's hat, adds a child-friendly dimension. For those who want more, there's an enlightening author's note, short but sturdy biographies of those featured in the poems, a list of related books and films, and a key to the photo with all 57 musicians named.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2016 Booklist
Horn Book (c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763669546 On August 12, 1958, fifty-plus jazz musicians gathered in Harlem for a group photo shoot. This iconic photo is the springboard for a series of twenty-one poems and a set of personality-rich illustrations. The words take you back to the photo--reproduced here as a gatefold spread--and the excellent list of sources leads you back to the music. Websites. Bib. (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. In 21 poems, Orgill introduces Art Kane's iconic 1958 Harlem photograph to young readers, spotlighting many of the 57 jazz musicians pictured. Orgill's introduction provides background. Kane, a rising graphic designer, had a big ideagathering as many jazz musicians as possible, at the tender hour of 10 a.m., for an unpaid photo shoot on 126th Street. The inexperienced Kane borrowed cameras to accomplish his goal. Musicians arrived, socialized, laughedignoring Kane. Free verse evokes the scene: "camera guy's sweeping / jazzmen like bundles / toward number 17 / / no one listens / musicians / don't hear / words of instruction / only music." Some poems riff on appearanceappropriate for this group of fastidious dressers. "How to Make a Porkpie Hat" provides instructions from Lester Young himself, then segues to the saxophonist's iconic sound, "soft as butter." Others muse on the day's events, both documented and imagined. The crowning glory: a gatefold reproduction of Kane's photograph; a key's provided for the musicians' identities. Vallejo's acrylic-and-pastel paintings vividly capture the shoot's vignettes and the skittish excitement of neighborhood kids. Pulling details from a 1995 documentary film and other resources, Orgill and Vallejo offer a dynamic, multifaceted work that deftly juxtaposes biography with praise poem, information with imagination. Teachers, librarians, jazz-loving families: take note. (author's note, thumbnail bios, note on the photograph's influence, source notes, bibliography) (Poetry. 8-13) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780763669546 On Aug. 12, 1958, 57 jazz musicians-some legends like Thelonius Monk and Count Basie, some just starting out-gathered on a Harlem stoop for a photograph taken by Art Kane for Esquire magazine. In 21 poems, Orgill (Skit-Skat, Raggedy Cat) drifts between biographical sketches of the musicians, musings on the difficulty of wrangling them into a shot ("musicians/ don't hear/ words of instruction/ only music"), poems about the neighborhood children present, and more. An alphabetical acrostic highlights what they wore ("Regimental/ Striped/ Ties/ Umbrella, unopened"), while "There's a Hole in the Picture" contemplates the absence of Duke Ellington (Orgill even investigated where he actually was that day). When readers eventually open a foldout page to see the photograph, the moment is magic-alive with the presence and skill of the musicians, as well as the promise and potential of the children around them. Beyond being a glorious tribute to these jazz greats, the book is also a phenomenal debut for Vallejo, whose dynamic acrylic and pastel images bring readers into the heart of the action of a day like no other. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. (Mar.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763669546 Gr 4 Up-Readers eavesdrop on the behind-the-scenes making of Art Kane's now-iconic photo, Harlem 1958, which featured many of the era's jazz greats. The warm, eye-popping acrylic and pastel illustrations are in harmony with the direct, evocative prose/poetry, which provides multiple perspectives, from the boys watching on the curb to pianist William "Count" Basie, pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams, and the well-dressed saxophonist Lester "Pres" Young. A wonderful snapshot of one specific place and time. Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780763669546 Gr 4 Up-A collection of poetry that focuses on the day graphic designer Art Kane orchestrated the iconic 1958 photograph of American jazz greats on a stoop in Harlem. Though many may recognize the photograph, fewer will know the story of its creation. While working on a special issue of Esquire magazine dedicated to jazz, Kane decided to see how many musicians he could gather in one place. The book starts on the morning the photograph was taken, with Kane standing in the street he's closed for the occasion, nervously hoping his call for appearances will be heeded. The verse spotlights the cast of characters that slowly materializes, with some short biographic poems and even one about Count Basie's hat. The offerings lead up to a foldout spread of the photograph itself, cued by a black page with the word click in white print. The remaining selections address the issue's immediate reception and laud Kane's accomplishment. The text is accompanied by vibrant, spectacular acrylic and pastel paintings by debut illustrator Vallejo. The volume includes an introduction, a lengthy author's note (with a useful key to the photograph), and short biographies of the major players. VERDICT A rich, unique, playful, and masterfully orchestrated work; Kane himself would undoubtedly be proud.-Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781520071053 Gr 4-6-It was a hot August day in 1955 when Art Kane gathered jazz musicians for a photograph for Esquire magazine. He wasn't sure who, if anyone, would show up at the Harlem brownstone he'd chosen for his backdrop. He'd put out the word, and now he could only hold his two cameras and hope. The result was the iconic photograph-Harlem 1958-that features 57 jazz musicians of the time. Count Basie was there, as was Dizzy Gillespie and Willie "the Lion" Smith. In her picture book, author Roxane Orgill dives deep inside that photograph, creating vibrant poems about many of the attendees. In the video, four narrators, male and female, read the text and poetry, capturing its subtlety and rhythm. The poems are enhanced by a close examination of Francis Vallejo's acrylic and pastel paintings, which give homage to the era. In the read-along version, poems dance across the screen, sliding into place like a runner heading home. (Note: in "A Praise Poem for Art Kane," the word praise is misspelled.) When the DVD finally reveals the photograph itself, the reader already knows the players, and its stark beauty is breathtaking. The author includes short biographies for those celebrated in the poems (which includes Duke Ellington, who was not there). VERDICT This is a beautifully done program that will please jazz lovers and, hopefully, inspire a new generation to explore this important part of music -history.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.