SPOON RIVER    
ANTHOLOGY #2
ON THE HILL
: JAZZ AND
NARRATIVE SINGING
NOTE: ON THE HILL: MEMO TO PEGGY STERN.  IT WAS A STEAMY SUMMER DAY IN CENTRAL
PARK , NEW YORK CITY -- A LONG TIME AGO,  I WAS RECORDING AND FACING THE CASTLE
"ON THE HILL"  WHERE THE WEATHER STATION RESIDES WHEN SUDDENLY BEHIND ME I
HEARD  SKATES  COME TO A SHARP SCISSORS-QUICK-STOP.  I TURNED AROUND AND THERE
WAS A DARK DIMINUTIVE ATTRACTIVE LADY WHO IMMEDIATELY ASKED ME WHAT I WAS
DOING?  SHE HAD SEEN MY RATHER STRANGE LOOKING RECORDING EQUIPMENT.  I HAD BEEN
RECORDING WITH THE MICROPHONE IN MY HAND.  I TOLD HER THAT I WAS  SETTING TO
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS THE GREAT WORKS OF POETRY  THROUGH OUT THE CENTURIES
AND THAT I USED ALL KINDS OF MUSIC TOGETHER WITH SOUND EFFECTS TO GIVE AN
INTERESTING NEW FLAVOR TO THE STANDARD CLASSICS.  SHE ASKED ME IF I HAD COVERED
THE FIELD OF JAZZ AND I TOLD HER THAT, NO, THAT I WAS LEAST PROFICIENT IN
INCORPORATING JAZZ INTO MY WORK BUT I WOULD EVENTUALLY HAVE TO DO IT.  SHE
RESPONDED THAT SHE THOUGHT I SHOULD INCORPORATE JAZZ OR THE COLLECTION WOULD
NOT BE COMPLETE. SHE TOLD ME  THAT SHE WAS A JAZZ PIANIST AND HAD THREE BANDS
AND ALWAYS APPEARED AT THE NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL.   THAT SHE WAS GOING ON A
WORLD-WIDE TOUR WITH HER BANDS FOR ABOUT A YEAR.  SOMEDAY IN THE FUTURE I WAS
GOING TO INCORPORATE JAZZ THEREFORE I COULD GO TO TOWER RECORDS AND PICK OUT
ANY OF HER OVER A DOZEN CDS AND USE THEM WITH HER PERMISSION. THEN SHE GAVE ME
HER AGENT'S ADDRESS TO SEND IT TO WHEN I FINISHED. THE NEXT DAY I WENT TO TOWER
RECORDS AND  THERE WERE HER NUMEROUS PRODUCTIONS. I PICKED OUT ONE AND THEN
HAD TO THINK A LONG TIME ABOUT HOW I WOULD UTILIZE HER WORKS.   FINALLY IT
OCCURRED TO ME THAT JAZZ'S ROOTS WERE FROM THE DEEP SOUTH AND GREW OUT OF THE
TRADITION OF THE BLUES AND SMALL TOWN LIFE.  WHAT BETTER COMBINATION THAN
PUTTING HER JAZZ TOGETHER WITH
THE SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY.   IT SEEMED TO ME TO
FIT EXCEPTIONALLY WELL WITH THE ANECDOTAL NATURE OF  THE  DECEASED SPIRITS "ON
THE HILL" .  SO MANY YEARS LATER, HERE IT IS PEGGY STERN!  I GUESS JAZZ ACTUALLY HAS
A RESOLUTION AFTER ALL AND WHEREVER YOU ARE NOW ON YOUR JOURNEY UP TO THE HILL  
NOTE I AM FOUR FIFTHS OF THE WAY UP.  HERE IS JAZZ WITH RESOLUTION.  THANK YOU FOR
FORCING ME NOT TO OMIT ONE OF THE GREAT TRADITIONS IN MUSIC THAT QUITE FRANKLY
I WAS GOING TO BYPASS...M. ABBOTT LEWIS.  Q.E.D.