Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

215

Kenneth Patchen: Reads With Jazz In Canada

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Funny how poet Kenneth Patchen's message is even more poignant today, two generations down the road. His antiwar pacifism was eclipsed by the overindulgent "beat generation" poets, who claimed him as a father, then quickly chose to become his prodigal sons. His message of love, blurred by their self-obsession, has come around again. Patchen's words for a troubled cold war world are suitable in these post-9/11 unsettled times.

Patchen's poetry and prose has always had a strong following in the jazz community. Saxophonist Peter Brötzmann continually cites him as an influence, as does bassist William Parker.

This recording, issued originally on Folkways Records, documents a 1959 session Patchen made with Alan Neil's jazz quartet. Patchen, one of the first to read his poetry with jazz, opened the door for Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Tom Waits, and perhaps even hip-hop. (Well, maybe not hip-hop. I'll leave that connection to the cultural anthropologists.) Patchen went on to record his plays as sound installations by John Cage.

Patchen, a literary descendent of Blake and Whitman, was also a man of this time. In 1959, his voice was best expressed in jazz and the language was bebop. The Canadians heard here are well versed in Charlie Parker's mood. As Patchen speaks, I'm reminded of Bird's vision: both artists calling for an anarchic love. Funny how many thinkers from Malcolm X to John Lennon settled on love and brotherhood as a resolution to our problems.

Patchen touches on a bit of surrealism with "As I Open The Window." He seems to loosen his tie and tell us a dreamy tale of mermaids, zebras and Mel Torme. His "Glory, Glory" is a stream of consciousness ramble fitting nicely with the music, all loose and free form.

Patchen's roots were in the American vision of Whitman and Walden. His children are today's jazz thinkers. Free thinkers whose messages are heard by the few, the proud, but probably not the Marines.

Track Listing: Four Blues Poems: 1. There's A Place; They Won't Let You In There; A Sigh Is Little Altered; The Lonesome Boy Blues; Four Song Poems: The Everlasting Contenders; Do i Not Deal With Angels; The Sea Is Awash With Roses; Not Many Kingdoms Left; As I Opened The Window; Glory, Glory.

Personnel: Kenneth Patchen - Poetry; Bill Boyle - Drums; Lionel Chambers - Bass; Alan Neil - Piano; Dale Hillary - Alto Saxophone.

Title: Reads With Jazz In Canada | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Locust Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019