Vernon Frazer juxtaposes "foregone insinuations of
the deeply permitted" with "acts of generic dissidence"
in frames tooled by improvisation. "A fluidity that masks the task
of the process" defines his chosen instrument, while allowing an
"equivalent absence" to encapsulate "as rumor, as theory,
as truth" "the depth of runic privilege." With concentrated,
prismatic word play, Frazer spills open the accordion to form "with
idiomatic staying power" "longitudinal" "feats of
--Shiela E. Murphy
Vernon Frazer is not a "jazz poet," he is that variety of music
called free-jazz. Look at the lines. I don't mean the way the lines are
broken up, for that is merely bebop, but feel the long line of each poem,
of the volume as a whole. As you read, you realize your face and your
body has started to move. You can't help but mouth these words and it
all makes sense. Freed from "the jazz life," those bars and
beats and Beats so far from free improvisation, thse poems of Demolition
Fedora blur the divide: the dancer is the dance. Frazer sings parabolic
arcs as intricate and as inevitable as Cecil Taylor at the piano or a
raga sung by Shiela Dhar. This is pure energy, yet as
centered as a William Parker bass solo: "everyday delusory breath/
a necessary integer/ at/ center." He is the musician spinning solos
that do not have to return to the head, for the structure is so sure of
itself it can support anything, even wickedly unselfconscious puns and
sonorous horn solos which risk turning this book upside down in your hands
as you read it, as your body flies off while people on the ground
shout at you, "Why do you have that stupid grin on your face!"
You know why. You've been literally moved.
--Steven H. Koenig
In Demolition Fedora, "stark raving sane, words/ enflame the
vestibule." In their poise and range, Vernon Frazer's associative
constructs build to a peak of luxuriant language and committed ideals.
Pity and angst come to a low seething. By turns Daliesque in juxtaposing
surrealities, Frazer's flaming words burn inward and out, probing not
only culture and language, but the self advertised and sold by them.