Eugene Jarecki
Eugene Jarecki
Al Young
Al Young

We talk with poet Al Young and photographer Charles L. Robinson about their book and CD set, JAZZ IDIOM: Blueprints, Stills and Frames. And Eugene Jarecki tells us about THE AMERICAN WAY OF WAR.

[amazon-product text=”Jazz Idiom: Blueprints, Stills and Frames” type=”text”]1597140953[/amazon-product] showcases Charlie Robinson’s intimate photographs of the jazz greats he’s known. Among them, Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington and Nina Simone. In counterpoint to the images, Al Young riffs, scats, and bebops with his poetry, anecdotes, and insight into the players. They reminisce about the musicians with host Francesca Rheannon and talk about how music translates as an art into their poetry and images.

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And we hear excerpts from music by the book’s subjects. In order of appearance on the show:

  • Carmen McCrae, Stardust
  • Thelonius Monk, Blue Monk (live at the Monterey Jazz Festival 1964). Watch him play it (at another venue).
  • Mary Lou WIlliams, Gloria
  • Nina Simone, I WIsh I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free
  • Miles Davis, Round Midnight and Bye Bye Blackbird (watch him play Round Midnight)

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The stated purpose of the military is to protect and defend the United States. It’s also supposed to protect democracy; every soldier swears fealty to the constitution. But in his book, [amazon-product text=”The American Way of War” type=”text”]1416544569[/amazon-product] Eugene Jarecki says the purpose of the military has more to do with feeding the bottom line of military contractors than defending the country. It’s the “military-industrial complex”– a term first coined by Pesident Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. Ike really wanted to add the word “congressional” to it, but feared the political fallout if he did. Jarecki tells us the unholy alliance between the military, the contractors and the congress is putting our democracy in peril.

THE AMERICAN WAY OF WAR was inspired by Jarecki’s film, [amazon-product text=”Why We Fight” type=”text”]B000FBH3W2[/amazon-product], which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. He’s also founder and director of the public policy organization, The Eisenhower Project.


About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.


  1. In case you’re interested, I am a poet/physician/musician who lhas published 7 books of poetry and works for greater humanity in the art of healing in medical schools and conferences throughout the country. My interest in jazz has lead to the release of a jazz-poetry CD, The Free Radicals, and a mini-tour in the San Francisco Bay area later this month with my jazz pianist, Chris Casey, leader of the Jazz Ensemble at the Hart Conservatory of Music in Connecticut. We will be interviewed on the Jazz Station, KCSM and make performances at Farley’s in San Francisco May 29 and Studio 333 in Sausalito May 30. My website has a track from our album in case you’d like to listen.

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