ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Three Poems by Stephen Bett.

Bennie Maupin

(even divine)

But there’s more
to him than
one brew

More than a one
mile bitch

And cycling

Most recently
as many miles
as Poland

See and


The Nels Cline Singers

Smart women say heavy metal guitarists
just playing with themselves

Here it’s thrash & bash
(for those so in-

Ookie dookie,
unless it gets to effin’
endless études

& out




Part jazz, part classical, part serious, part parody, part free jazz, part virtuosity—and wholly entertaining. Think Frank Zappa at his wackiest getting together with Stan Kenton to beat up Spike Jones…



Nothing droll here—
Seattle genre
-bending band
(with silly hats
dance routines
absurdist humor*


A very fun
vibe, plus they’ll
go to your local
grade school too
—good for a
limited engage-


U-Tube catches
all the


Great intro-jazz
band for a


Like they say above:
part fun
part fun
part more fun




Stephen Bett says:
Like several of my books, the current ms, titled Sound Off: a book of jazz, is, loosely, a "serial" poem, a book of 76 linked poems, each responding (myself as a jazz fan) to the work of 76 very current jazz musicians. These jazzers fall, very roughly, into three general camps: the "sons of Miles" (Jarrett, Hancock, Corea, McLaughlin, Scofield, Shorter, etc.); the ECM artists (largely Norwegian, the very contemporary sound coming from jazz's second centre these days); and very young (20-something), hip, interesting, & mostly NYC-based musicians. This is NOT a book for jazz fans alone —it is a book of poems. (Its subject matter, as in poetry books by Richard Stevenson & David Meltzer, concerns jazz musicians.) I write strictly as a fan. I am not a musicologist but I think (hope, believe) my enthusiasm for these musicians might be shared by readers. This is a book of poems celebrating music. They are poems for readers —no jazz expertise required.

For reviews of Stephen Bett's books, please see


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