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Poems by James Strecker
Drawings by Harold Town

I find words so analogous to musical notes. Dependent upon their form and depth, they convey to the reader the true emotions of the writer and evoke an emotional response from the reader, much the same as music does for the listener.

James Strecker has a very musical approach to poetry and succeeds in carrying his reader along his improvisational pathways through the very misunderstood personalities of the jazz world. I particularly cite his poignant and descriptive piece on Lady Day: ‘It’s her business to be wounded with class.’ Or his thoughtful and descriptive understanding of Charlie Parker: ‘… he walked a no man’s land of the dying, played a winner’s deck to lose.’

Having long been one of Harold Town’s numerous fans worldwide, it is almost needless for me to say that the various sketches and impressions throughout the book serve to give it even more depth and dimension. I especially enjoy the line drawings which I find very similar to some of the plaintive verse used by James Strecker.

These painful yet sensitive descriptions and drawings serve to carry a reader further into the jazz player’s soul. I know they do for me, as I feel they will surely do for you.


Oscar Peterson

ISBN 0-921980-05-1
6" x 9”, 64p
$14.95 CND
$12.00 USD