Mark Murphy/ Bop for Kerouac
May01

Mark Murphy/ Bop for Kerouac

“I want to be considered a jazz poet . . .” i Don’t miss Mark Murphy’s 1981 recording “Bop for Kerouac.”ii Jack loved jazz and wanted to be known as a jazz poet. Highly-acclaimed American jazz vocalist Mark Murphy will take you for a luxurious spin with this beautiful recording, a rich tribute to Kerouac and the music he adored. It’s gorgeous jazz—silky smooth and pure as a pure jazz singer or a pure man jazz poet—and Murphy puts...

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“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”:  Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity
Apr23

“A Fish With Frog’s Eyes”: Bob Kaufman, George Romero and the Power of Radioactivity

By Kurt Kline   In the poetry of Bob Kaufman, the poet is the healer, journeying down into the underworld of the American psyche in order to heal the wounds of racism, capitalist exploitation, and war. If Kaufman is, as many critics have suggested, a shaman, it is perhaps most properly in the tradition of Hoodoo, which employs music as a mode of otherworldly transport or to facilitate trance states. If Kaufman recuperates the...

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Anita Sings in Black Hat and White Feathers
Apr15

Anita Sings in Black Hat and White Feathers

“They went into Anita O’Day’s club and there unpacked and played till nine o’clock in the morning.” i Singer’s singer nightingale Belle’s voice clearly sailed Scat scatting dress flounces Jazzy gal bouncy bounces Uptown rhythm Off the Beat Ahead of the beat Behind the beat Tapping feet Hip club cool heat Down Beat noted Belle totted Gene drummed Roy thumbed Horn taboo Improv cool Newport Jazz breezy money July day sweet as honey,...

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Young Charlie Parker
Apr01

Young Charlie Parker

“All you need is one person in your whole life to really be listening.” i Young Charlie Parker Lester Young, Charlie Parker Chu Berry, berry, young Charlie Parker Charlie Parker from Kansas City The swingiest, stompingest this land’s city Shoot’em up cowboy city Gangster city Nighttime city Charlie original Charlie natural And they once laughed him off the bandstand And that broke his heart But he hoboed out In the last years of the...

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The Cramps’ “Route 66” Is the Best
Sep17

The Cramps’ “Route 66” Is the Best

“That spring [1947] when he [Jack Kerouac] heard Nat King Cole singing the Bobby Troup song ‘Get Your Kicks on Route 66,’ seeing America seemed the greatest kick of all.” (Memory Babe, Gerald Nicosia, 1994, p. 184). Nat King Cole’s voice was pure silk, smooth and clear, and he possessed a natural grace. He moved from jazz roots to become a huge pop sensation, much to the wrath of jazz fans, and had a hit with “Route 66” in 1946. The...

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Summer Bop 2013
Jul28

Summer Bop 2013

“All I can say is, if you know Jimmy Heath, you know Bop.” — Dizzy Gillespiei Jack Kerouac, jazz enthusiast extraordinaire, was inspired by and promoted jazz in his writing. He breathed jazz in prose and poetry. Allen Ginsberg called it “spontaneous bop prosody.” Ann Charters wrote in Kerouac: A Biography he “identified more with musical geniuses like Bud Powell, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan and...

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Happy Birthday, Bob Kaufman!

On this day in 1925, Bob Kaufman was born. From Beatdom Issue One: Bob Kaufman: The Unsung Beat Overview It always baffles me to find Bob Kaufman omitted from a great many books and documentaries and websites and talk about the Beat Generation. For me, Kaufman is the embodiment of Beat. That is not to say that the more well known names and faces did not embody the spirit they are most widely credited with creating and fulfilling, but...

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Carolyn Cassady – Neal, Me and Jack makes three
Mar01

Carolyn Cassady – Neal, Me and Jack makes three

By Spencer Kansa In 1951, Jack Kerouac began work on a roman a clef whose breathless prose would help define an era and seduce generations to come, On the Road. Based on his road trip adventures from the previous decade, Kerouac drew upon his battered notebooks and unique recall to get it all down. Typing on a continuous roll of teletype paper, his stream of consciousness spilled out in one long inspired flow and soon a soulful vision...

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