May/29/2012 Filed in: spoken word
In the spring of 1958, just a few weeks after cutting Poetry for the Beat Generation, producer Bob Thiele suggested making a second album -- quite a daring notion, considering that the first album would prove so controversial that it wouldn't reach the public for a year -- and Jack Kerouac agreed. Instead of pianist Steve Allen, however, Kerouac insisted that he be accompanied this time by two good friends, tenor saxmen Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. With Cohn doubling on piano, the resulting Blues and Haikus is a stunning duet between speaker and saxmen, working spontaneously in this peculiar mix of jazz and voice, in which the saxmen do get their solo spots around Kerouac's work. There's much more of a sense on this album of a conscious interaction here between Kerouac and his accompanists, and the album is more arch but also more intense and more imposing than its predecessor.
September/06/2008 Filed in: spoken word
"A beautifully vivid set from Jack Kerouac -- one that has him reading his own music set to spare piano accompaniment by Steve Allen -- most of which was improvised for the set. The pairing of Kerouac and Allen seems an unlikely one, but it really works well here -- as Jack's quite relaxed in the studio, and really reads with a bit more feeling than usual -- really put at ease by Allen's surprisingly great piano lines, which never try to dominate, and mostly just tinkle lightly behind Kerouac's recitations."
--review from dustygrooves.com
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