JAZZ DAY by Roxane Orgill
Kirkus Star

JAZZ DAY

The Making of a Famous Photograph
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 13
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

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 idea—gathering 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, laughed—ignoring 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 appearance—appropriate 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)

Pub Date: March 8th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6954-6
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2016




BEST MIDDLE-GRADE VERSE OF 2016:

ChildrenYOU CAN FLY by Carole Boston Weatherford
by Carole Boston Weatherford
ChildrenJAZZ DAY by Roxane Orgill
by Roxane Orgill
ChildrenDANCING IN THE RAIN by Lynn Joseph
by Lynn Joseph
ChildrenGARVEY'S CHOICE by Nikki Grimes
by Nikki Grimes

MORE BY ROXANE ORGILL

ChildrenSKIT-SCAT RAGGEDY CAT by Roxane Orgill
by Roxane Orgill
ChildrenFOOTWORK by Roxane Orgill
by Roxane Orgill
ChildrenSHOUT, SISTER, SHOUT! by Roxane Orgill
by Roxane Orgill

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenSAINT LOUIS ARMSTRONG BEACH by Brenda Woods
by Brenda Woods
ChildrenUNDER THE MOON by Misja Fitzgerald Michel
by Misja Fitzgerald Michel
ChildrenSPIRIT SEEKER by Gary Golio
by Gary Golio