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Book details
  • Genre:POETRY
  • SubGenre:American / African American & Black
  • Language:English
  • Pages:120
  • eBook ISBN:9781483507941

I'm Just the Drummer in the Band

Jazz Poems

by Alan "Chip" White

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A collection of jazz poems honoring jazz icons and exploring the history of jazz.
Jazz poems inspired by such great jazz artists as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Bill Evans, and Keith Jarrett. Beginning with the origins of jazz in New Orleans, the poems move through the swing and big band era to the bebop movement, the modal jazz period, and the avant garde movement.
About the author
Composer, Drummer, Lyricist, Percussionist, Poet Alan “Chip” White was born in New York City. He began studying percussion and music with his father at the age of nine, and studied theory and harmony with Vincent Corozine while in high school. Chip then continued his formal education at Ithaca College and later at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA, where he studied with Alan Dawson, Charlie Marino, and Herb Pomeroy. He also studied privately with Freddie Buda of the Boston Symphony. Later, he studied orchestration and arranging with Frank Foster. Since moving back to New York City in 1970, Chip has performed and/or recorded with a variety of artists, including Carman McCrae, Jaki Byard, the Jazzmobile CETA Big Band, Candido, John Abercrombie, Frank Wess, Frank Foster, Frank Vicari, John Faddis, Chet Baker, Bill Hardman, Junior Cook, Claudio Roditi, Dave Liebman, James Moody, Tom Waits, Kim & Marion, Enrico Rava, Jimmy McGriff, Mulgrew Miller, Gary Bartz, John Hicks, Don Braden, Walter Bishop Jr., Ronnie Matthews, Al Grey, Benny Powell, Teddy Edwards, Craig Handy, Klaus Ignatzek, Houston Person and Etta Jones, Irene Reid, and Savion Glover. In 1990, Chip co-wrote and produced the jazz musical Manhattan Moments with choreographer Kathy Sanson. Chip recently reinvigorated the Chip White Ensemble with gigs at Dizzy’s Coca Cola/Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kitano, Sweet Rhythm, and the Lenox Lounge in New York City, Cecil’s in Orange, NJ, the BeanRunner in Peekskill, NY, and the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium at the Bahá’í Center in New York City. He has also written a book of poems about jazz musicians entitled "I’m Just the Drummer in the Band." In February, 2012, the Peekskill City Council presented Chip with an award for Black History Month. In 2011, Chip released the third volume of his dedication series, "Personal Dedications & Percussive Tributes", all of which are two-disc sets with Chip’s original compositions on disc 1 and his original poems on disc 2.. The series began in 2008 with "Double Dedication," which includes Chip’s original compositions and poems written for 13 famous jazz masters such as Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billy Strayhorn. The musicians are Steve Wilson, Randy Brecker, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond, Gail Allen, and Chip. This unique and exciting recording was on the JazzWeek Jazz Album radio charts for six weeks, reaching number 27. "More Dedications," Volume II ,was released in May 2009 and features Mulgrew Miller, Steve Nelson, Wycliffe Gordon, Peter Washington, Duane Eubanks, Patience Higgins, and Chip White. It received four stars in DownBeat and was on the JazzWeek Jazz Album radio charts for 11 weeks, and reached number 21. "On Personal Dedications & Percussive Tributes," the dedications are not only to jazz musicians but also to other people, places, and moods. Released in September 2011, it features Randy Brecker, Steve Wilson, Wycliffe Gordon, Patience Higgins, Renee Rosnes, Steve Kroon, and Peter Washington, as well as Chip. Chip’s second recording as a leader, "Music and Lyrics," was released in September 2005. He wrote, arranged, and produced all the compositions on this CD, which features Gail Allen, Houston Person, Lafayette Harris, George Kaye, and Chip. He released "Harlem Sunset" (Postcards 1006), his first CD as a leader and composer, as well as drummer, with Gary Bartz, Robin Eubanks, Steve Nelson, Claudio Roditi, and Buster Williams, in 2004. In the past several years, years, Mr. White has appeared on Houston Person’s albums "In a Sentimental Mood," "Social Call," and "To Etta With Love"; Etta Jones’ "Easy Living" and the Grammy-nominated "Etta Jones Sings Lady Day"; and Teddy Edwards’ "Ladies Man" and "Smooth Sailing," all on the High Note record label. His composition “Time Stood Still” is featured on Houston Person’s "All Soul."