Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Best of Word Jazz 1
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
You've heard Ken Nordine before, his immediate baritone resonating like the voice of God in countless radio and TV commercials, hawking everything from Taster's Choice to Murine. In the late 1950s, though, Nordine created ... more »
You've heard Ken Nordine before, his immediate baritone resonating like the voice of God in countless radio and TV commercials, hawking everything from Taster's Choice to Murine. In the late 1950s, though, Nordine created "word jazz"--a combination of storytelling, sound painting, and pre-beat improvisation--as a less commercial, more personal outlet for his natural speaking talents. Best gathers the brightest of his four initial albums--material that found him somewhere between the prosody of Jack Kerouac and the arch satire of Nichols & May. As the title suggests, there's a light jazz backing behind Nordine's incantations--ranging from the lighthearted "Hunger Is From" to the disturbing, absurd scenario "Flibberty Jib" to the harrowing memoir "Confessions of 349-18-5171." Good, curious stuff. --Michael Ruby
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Jazz art from one of advertising's most familiar voices
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 08/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To those just finding Nordine's 50s recordings, his incredible voice will be surprisingly familiar. His work as a voice-over announcer over the past several decades has made his resonant baritone a fixture on TV and radio. What's really amazing is that the quirky presentation he uses in his commercials - the inflections and pacing - is equally, if not more, effective in this poetry/spoken word context.
Backed by the Fred Katz group, Nordine tells spellbinding stories and recites beat-era oddities in a style that is unduplicatable. Whether it's the outsider tale of "Flibberty-Jib" (which was reused years later as the soundtrack to a groundbreaking animated commercial for Levi's), the social commentary of "The Vidiot," the Twilight Zone tale of "What Time is it?," or just the 'wonder wanderings' of "Adult Kindergarten" or "The Sound Museum," Nordine always has something interesting to offer.
Katz recorded a few very hard-to-find LPs of his own, as well as appearing in the film "Sweet Smell of Success" as a member of Chico Hamilton's band. His group backs Nordine here with light jazz that supplements the 50s beatnik/downtown atmosphere. This collection cherry-picks tracks from several volumes of Word Jazz recordings, all of which are tough finds on the collector's market. These are truly one-of-a-kind recordings that capture an artist's singular vision of spoken-word art."
Astral Projection Without Trying!
Jim Nayder | United States | 02/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listening to Ken Nordine is an experience similar to that sleep stage when you can't really tell if you're dreaming, or actually visiting a mysterious fantasy land. Ken takes words where you don't expect them to travel -and you wonder if you're hearing music, a short story, an angel lamenting, or colors you can actually see. All via a CD. I first heard Word Jazz years ago, and yet it sounds like a new born baby every time I give it another listen. I shut off the lights, put on some head-phones, sit back, and listen. It's a jazz concert though a mind's eye I never knew I had . . . all through the literally hypnotic voice of our ol' pal, Ken Nordine."
"Let me tell you a funny story I made up..."
boeanthropist | Cambridge, MA | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's much, much more than just The Voice -- Ken Nordine turns the moments of our lives on their heads in a manner as close to Ray Bradbury or Harlan Ellison as it is to the beatniks (with whom he is forever lumped), and much, much funnier than either. Sesame Street as produced by Rod Serling, perhaps. Cheerily subversive art which somehow maintains no umbilicus to any specific counterculture -- try pulling that off today, kids! At least as relevant in the year 2000 as when it came out in the 1950s. Hope the "Volume 1" up there indicates a Volume 2 someday soon."