Jack Kerouac Would've Loved This
Back in the day, '50s beat poets like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso would recite their poems to live jazz. The relationship between jazz and poetry has been diluted in the intervening years but, hell, poetry is meant to be spoken aloud (and trending as more and more jazz albums these days include spoken-word passages). On the brilliant new The Poetry Of Jazz (Origin Records) by saxophonist/composer Benjamin Boone and the late jazz-loving poet Philip Levine (both were professors at California State University), Levin recites his poems which includes tributes to Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker while A-List jazz men like Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby and Chris Potter strut their considerable stuff on compositions by Boone. The result is an eminently listenable 14-poem program that works on so many levels.