Ken Nordine and the Fred Katz Group - Word Jazz - Vinyl LP

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2021 reissue

Already making a comfortable living in the world of commercial voice-overs -- you could hear him pitching cars, wine, coffee, and more whenever you turned on the TV or radio -- Ken Nordine felt the need to do something creative for himself, and thus he started the Word Jazz series of records. Each of the tracks here features Nordine speaking over top of a very upbeat jazz backing track provided by the Fred Katz Group, and the combination sounds not unlike a radio announcer performing beat poetry in places...mostly because that's exactly what it is.

That would be selling this album short, though, because Nordine proves himself more than capable of providing both the smooth vocal tones as well as the truly twisted creative sense necessary to pull this off: in one piece, Nordine is your guide in a museum dedicated to sounds, and elsewhere he takes you on a tour of his own mind. He also shows off a particularly sharp sense of humor, such as on his opening story (on the origins of the man who says "At the tone, the time is...") and with "My Baby" (in which his baby turns out to be...well, his child). There are a few missteps, though: While the concept of "The Vidiot" is excellent, it's handled a bit awkwardly here (Wayne and Shuster would take another, better approach on their first album); "Roger" is a story that doesn't seem to have much of a point; and listening to Nordine plow through a pile of food on "Hunger Is From" is less appetizing than he probably hoped. Even so, Word Jazz is still an innovative album and definitely worthy of the sequels that followed.

Sean Carruthers  



SKU 7427116395838
Barcode # 7427116395838
Brand Pleasure for Music

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