For Jazz

                The Bands

‘We stood in line outside the Paramount,
Whole crowds of Jewish and Italian kids
From Brooklyn. Winter, thirty-eight. The cops
On horseback. Morning show. We all cut class
For Berigan with Goodman, or the Count
With Buck and Lester, to see the trombones fan their lids,
The trumpet section, standing, blow their tops,
And four men rhythm, reeds, and eight on brass.
Jesus, that music made you feel alive!
Cootie or Vido blasting as the band rose from the pit.
Mickey Weiss was a fan of Shaw on clarinet
(Mickey was killed on Guam in forty-five).
Oh Lord, the Paramount, the Greystone in Detroit,
The Earle in Philadelphia, Roseland, the Lafayette.’