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A review of Of Song and Water from L.A. Times: Discoveries


In real life, we often go on after trauma and tragedy. In fiction, tragedy sticks to the page, fixed in a character’s personality. Coleman Moore, a jazz guitarist, sits on his boat drinking vodka and contemplating his father’s death, his grandfather’s cruelty and his wife’s estrangement. He thinks about music, his own and his legendary mentor’s. He tries to be who he once was and finds his path blocked by his own mistakes and those of his ancestors. Joseph Coulson’s writing makes a reader hear jazz. There’s a bounce in Moore’s utter failures; he’s held aloft by something we all want a piece of: maybe it’s music, maybe it’s something else.

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