Originally intended as a nine-part series of commercials for a paint company, Ken Nordine’s 1967 classic is still a brilliant and, um- colorful trip through the big crayon box. Re-released with ten new 90 second shades, Colors (the American spelling, thank you!) gives form and flesh to a J. Crew catalog full of familiar but perhaps underappreciated tones. Though the usual suspects such as Yellow, Brown and Black are in revue, Nordine also reaches out to such colorfully entitled tints as Ecru, Chartreuse, Azure, Muddy, Russet, Sepia and Nutria. From fat Burgundy to cautious Beige, Nordine breathes baritoned life into hues that often pass our eyes but which can now color our ears as well. In the process of encouraging an otherwise drab Olive, Nordine explains the regality of Purple and captures the neutrality of Amber. While "Maroon" is simply a reading of a rhyming dictionary, "Blue" is a self-descriptive swing and "Black" is full of dark simile. Despite his best efforts, however, even the creator of ‘Word Jazz’ can not find a rhyme for "Orange" ... though he has fun trying!
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.