Title: The God of Jazz: Fugue, Concord
Author: Varian Krylov
Cover Artist: Bey Deckard
Release Date: September 26, 2016
Page Count: 326
Reviewed by: PIU, Ele and Ana
After years struggling to realize his dream of directing a feature film, on the final night of his fundraising campaign Godard is on the cusp of having everything he ever wanted. The man he loves is upstairs waiting for him, and he’s just a few dollars short of his GoFundYourself goal.
Then everything falls apart.
His personal and professional life in ruins, when his old nemesis from film school offers to fund his dream project if he’s willing to shoot it in Spain, Godard knows it’s a deal with the devil. But he also has nothing left to lose.
Among the labyrinthine streets of Barcelona’s Barrio Góthico, the city’s vibrant music scene, and the sun-gilt beaches of the Costa Brava, Godard begins making shooting his dream project and putting his life back together, largely under the domineering gaze and deft touch of Ángel, the god of jazz.
But Ángel is keeping a secret, and a deal with the devil always comes at a price.
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“Bienvenidos…” After a glance back at his band mates, the trumpet player fixed his intense gaze on the audience and welcomed us in a low, smoky voice. Almost instantly the crowd went quiet, like everyone there was desperate not to miss a syllable. Of course, the remaining crumbs of my high school education in Spanish didn’t get me past the first word, except I did catch their names as he introduced his bandmates. Jaume on the drums. Alistair on bass.
The stunner with the trumpet and the arresting eyes that were the color of Amaretto di Saronno in the sun, but almost black in the hard shadow cast by the spotlight hitting his striking, upward angled eyebrows, was Ángel. He shot a glance at the drummer, who set a rhythm, brushes hissing over the heads. The low thrum of the bass came in as an electric smile spread over Alistair’s handsome face. The tempo of the music echoed faintly in Ángel’s subtly swaying body for a few measures as he let the music lull us out of the hectic pace of our day, the frenetic energy of the crowd that had been bantering and calling for drinks and jockeying for places to sit or stand, into the soothing rhythm. Then he brought the horn to his lips and kissed our souls.
Sultry, thick and sweet, tinges of melancholy. The notes stretched and yawned, curled around us like smoke. Slipped into the gaps in our broken, rusted armor and soothed our wounds.
I felt almost ashamed, in the midst of that transcendental rapture, that I couldn’t look at Ángel without conjuring the memory of his naked body, lax and faintly sheened with sweat as his broad shoulders flexed when he’d shifted his weight. The taunting temptation of his bare ass. Impossible to stop trying to imagine what he would look like, standing alone on that stage, under those lights, looking down at me, naked. Picturing his cock hanging, limp. Wondering if, when hard, it would stand up straight, jut off at an angle, or stick out from his groin.
At some point I had stopped looking at the other two sharing his stage, and just stared at him. The slight inward slope of his narrow nose. The delicate bow shape of his upper lip, slightly prominent, overshadowing his narrower bottom lip. Wanting him, almost willing him to turn those intense eyes on me again. Would it feel like a touch, the way it had at the beach? Was he caressing every man and woman in the bar with that gaze? Were they all secretly quivering and warming under his stare?
Growing up near Los Angeles, I spent much of my time frolicking in the Pacific Ocean and penning angst-twisted poetry. Now I’m living in sunny Spain writing pathos-riddled fiction. Ironically, two of my favorite things are traveling, and swimming in the ocean, despite increasingly intense phobias of sharks and flying.
I’ve always loved the music and substance of words, always loved writing in well-worn notebooks by hand, tapping at the keys of the computer, and, of course, conjuring up stories.
And from my earliest memories, I’ve always been fascinated—maybe obsessed?—with sex and sexuality.
In my writing, sex is the medium, the expression, and the tool of discovery for my characters’ insecurities, the needs that drive them, the comfort they can’t live without, the joy and relish of life that makes each of them intense, strange, and alluring.