Geoff Page – Coffee with Miles

Sleeve Notes from Coffee with Miles

Here Geoff Page takes a selection of his best poems, and shows what can be done with them, either through the laconic economy of the poet’s voice, or by setting them into a classy and eclectic frame of jazz, with help from musicians Damien Slingsby (electric piano), Jarrah Jones (electric guitar) and Eric Ajaye (double bass). The jazz poem set, recorded live at The Gods and Manning Clark House, manages to be both laid back and zesty, taking in sparrows, melons, poets and a pithy and poignant roll call of great jazz musicians.  These poems are the best kind of short lesson in jazz history. The ‘straight’ poems are anything but. Page is intensely interested in how people believe in themselves, each other, family and God, and how belief twists or is twisted. Here Page combines compassion, irony and the keenest eye on death, religion, war and the family silver, to produce an untarnished Australian insight.

Biographical Notes

Geoff Page, b.1940, is an Australian poet who has published eighteen collections of poetry as well as two novels, four verse novels and several other works including anthologies, translations and a biography of the jazz musician, Bernie McGann. He retired at the end of 2001 from being in charge of the English Department at Narrabundah College in the ACT, a position he had held since 1974. He has won several awards, including the ACT Poetry Award, the Grace Leven Prize, the Christopher Brennan Award, the Queensland Premier’s Prize for Poetry and the 2001 Patrick White Literary Award. Selections from his work have been translated into Chinese, Hindi, German, Serbian, Slovenian and Greek. He has also read his work and spoken on Australian poetry throughout Europe as well as in India, Singapore, China, Korea, the United States and New Zealand.
He is also a keen jazz fan, an amateur musician (vibraphone) and has performed his poems on several occasions over the years with jazz musicians such as Bernie McGann, Jonathan Zwartz, Eric Ajaye, Colin Hoorweg, Mark Sutton, Carl Dewhurst, Damien Slingsby, Jarrah Jones and others.

CD Cover by Bird Creative

Playlist:

  1. Christ at Gallipoli                       1’04”
  2. The Visit                                     1’01”
  3. Jane’s Story                                1’07”
  4. My Mother’s God                      1’ 37”
  5. My Father in his Silver Frame   1’49”
  6. Small Town Memorials             1’02”
  7. Collateral Damage                     1’56”
  8. Clarence Lyric                           1’05”
  9. The Sparrows at Brunetti’s ♫    1’20”
  10. Blues on the Names ♪                1’55”
  11. The Cello Sonatas JS Bach ♫    1’13”
  12. Parable in 4/4 ♪                          3’03”
  13. The Bride is Flying ♫                1’16”
  14. La Muerte Del Angel  ♪            1’51”
  15. Coffee with Miles ♫                  1’56”
  16. Two Poets ♪                               1’35”
  17. Jazz /Poet ♫                                0’42”
  18. Five Pianists ♫                           3’55”
  19. The Book of his Addresses ♪      1’12”
  20. Arthur Philip  ♪                           1’08”
  21. Tango  ♫                                     1’16”
  22. Melons ♫                                    1’07”
  23. The Homestead                            1’21”
  24. Mozambique                                1’07”
  25. Findings                                       0’55”
  26. The Lid                                        1’44”
  27. Credo                                           0’43”
  28. Timor Mortis                                0’41”
  29. Codicil                                         1’21”

Running Time: 41’03”

Acknowledgements:

Tracks 1 & 6: Small Town Memorials (UQP 1975, Reprinted by Picaro Press): Tracks 2, 3, 23,24, 26 & 27; Darker and Lighter (Five Islands Press, 2000): Tracks 4, 8 & 25: Footwork (Angus & Robertson, 1988): Tracks 5; 29 Gravel Corners (Angus & Robertson, 1992): Tracks 7; 28; Collateral Damage (Indigo, 1999): Tracks 9, 13,15, 19, 20; Seriatim (Salt, 2007): Tracks 11, 22; Agnostic Skies (Five Islands Press, 2006): Track 17; Two Poets (UQP, 1971).

♫ With Damien Slingsby (electric piano), Jarrah Jones (electric guitar) live at Manning Clarke House, in December 2007, recorded and produced by Chris Deacon of Artsound.

♪ With Eric Ajaye (double bass), live at The Gods, in October 2008, recorded and produced by Chris Deacon of Artsound.

Copyright Geoff Page, Eric Ajaye, Damien Slingsby, Jarrah Jones and River Road Press 2009.