Woke up to some nice news this morning (in the south) as spoken word maestro Ken Nordine posted (in the evening of the north) this message:
“Guess what? A 94 years old guy called me (who doesn’t know better yet) has had a big fun of putting together a new CD called “bits & pieces”... Your Honor, forgive me. I confess… I am guilty again of having committed Word Jazz. I couldn’t help myself… I had to do it. And the woman I’ve been married to for nearly 70 years told me I’d better do it… Playing the age card, silly”
As the bona fide grandpapa of “spoken word” ‘uncle’ Ken can play any card he likes, I say. And it’s just a total delight to hear this most sonorous of voices again in more syncopation of jazz and thought. Word Jazz sounds as cool as it surely did 50-something years ago.
... Of course, word jazz wasn’t just a mid-last-century phenomenon. Ken has been a most prolific voice with albums, concerts and radio shows, not to mention mercurial visual word jazz poems, right across the intervening years. There is just something about these snippets that calls back in a beautiful way the original album, the inspiration for the Beat Generation, the best advertisement for the poetic soul of America from the best voice in the advertising business …
If you’re new to this voice, this collection is actually as good a place to start as the beginning. Perhaps a little more mellow, a little more circumspect, still refreshingly irreverent and romantic, still smooth as silk. If you want to go back to the beginning, click below image for the discography of a somewhat new medium… word jazz … and the further adventures of spoken word’s gentleman: