Shuffle Boil


shuffle boil, a magazine of poets and music
Edited by David Meltzer & Steve Dickison

Editor's notes:

Shuffle Boil, THE TUNE, HAD ITS FIRST PERFORMANCE ON RECORD IN A BAND LED BY GIGI GRYCE for a session that ended up on Savoy Records, made October 1955. Attendant in this band, besides Gryce on the alto sax, Percy Heath's contrabass, and Art Blakey's drum-kit, was of course the band's mystery man, Thelonious Monk at the piano. Shuffle Boil's a relatively rare item in the recirculation of core Monk repertoire. It surfaces one time again (on record at least, who knows what went down on the bandstand?) eight years later, March 1964 (It's Monk's Time, Columbia, the Charlie Rouse-Butch Warren-Ben Riley quartet), then that seems to be it. (An alternate from '64 turns up on Always Know, a Columbia 2-LP catch-all, 15 years later, 1979.)

When you hear it--Shuffle Boil, the song-- it's instantly nobody but Monk, the tune somehow exceeds itself. Then, all his songs are like that . . . When it rose up as a title for "a magazine of poets and music" it sounded just right. At least part of the idea here is to shuffle the deck, get poets and other artists who pay attention to music to do that in print, pull in musicians who work with poetry (read it, write it, put it to music) to set beside them, not get too predetermined about the possible ingredients in the mix. And it's not like anyone only relates to the immediate-contemporary, in any kind of relation. Music's great secret power might be-- it escapes.

The experts have certainly been clinging to its purposes, its glory (is that the word?) a sad long time. One justification for such a venture---as this modest magazine--might be just this: not the expert, but the listener. That music is possible continues to be the prime inspiring force.

Bring it to a boil, let it roil, toil in the paper spaces. Monk's mystifying silences... It's always been taken for granted: the music's with us, within us, imprinted therein. So many poets and artists are deep listeners of jazz and so many musicians, in turn, go to poetry and art for nourishment. Now's the time to bring it together. Monk's mystifying silence. No words or all words? Shut up & listen to the music."

"What other interests do you have?"
         --- "Life in general."
"What do you do about it?"
        --- "Keep breathing."

Issue no. 1, winter 2002 contains writings from Wadada Leo Smith, Joe Dodge, Clark Coolidge, Bill Berkson, Lee Wiley, Bunny Berigan, Daniel Patrick Cassidy, Michael Gizzi, George Herms, Linda Norton, Etel Adnan, Steve Lacy, Alastair Johnston, David Meltzer, Joel Lewis, Jack Hirschman, Natacha Nisic, Anthony Barnett, Steve Dickison, Lorenzo Thomas, Barry Wallenstein, Norma Cole, Alec Finlay, Ammiel Alcalay, Alan Gilbert, Kevin Killian, Thurston Moor, Jono Schneider, Horace Coleman, Michael Rothenberg, Tosh Berman.

shuffle boil is published 3 times per year by Listening Chamber, 1605 Berkeley Way, Berkeley CA 94703 USA. Editorial correspondence: Subscriptions-- $12 for 3 issues; $20 for 6; $50 lifetime, checks payable to David Meltzer or Steve Dickison. Available at Amoeba Records (Berkeley, San Francisco, LA); Cody's Books, Moe's Books, Berkeley; City Lights Books, San Francisco; Diesel Books; Oakland; other fine stores. Distribution via SPD/Small Press Distribution, Inc. 1341 Seventh Street, Berkeley CA 94711 USA, 800-869-7553, online orders at