Kerouac-Cassady (Jack Kerouac Scat Singing)

[Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac – Photograph by Carolyn Cassady]

We continue this week mining the treasure which is the extraordinary trove of audio at the Allen Ginsberg archives, now housed at Stanford University.

Today, a remarkable discovery – Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. The tape (there are two copies, actually, 131 and 132) is simply (and with no further information ) titled “Kerouac and Cassady, San Jose, 1952, William Burroughs“. (Burroughs, in fact, doesn’t appear on the tape (in those days ayahuasca-hunting in South America), but there’s some wonderful speculation on him)  … Read More

Lester Young

Lester Young‘s Birthday today.  We at the Allen Ginsberg Project continue to be big fans of Lester Young, “The Prez”,  the real Prez  (see previous notices here, and here).

We await with eagerness and anticipation the definitive Prez movie- President of Beauty – The Life and Times of Lester Young –  coming to us soon from filmmaker Henry Ferrini

Here’s a video-pitch for last-minute necessary funding.

and plenty more about this essential movie – here

and a shout-out to Shelton “Shakespear” Alexander for his extraordinary, evocative poem.

Lester Young (1909-1959) – Photograph by Dennis StockRead More

Robert Creeley – 2

creeley

[Robert Creeley – Photograph by Allen Ginsberg – © Estate of Allen Ginsberg  – caption: “Robert Creeley, one-eyed poet at Naropa Institute poetics commune house, summer session, July 1984, he sat patient with me across supper table before his lecture, old friend”]

AG: Where were we? Oh Creeley? So Creeley.  (Robert) Creeley. Each syllable is a thought. That’s a good way of (describing it), actually. That’s an aphorism for Creeley – “One thought per syllable” (in the sense that each syllable seems to be like a new thought) – opposite from my kind of writing, or, say, somebody else, … Read More

Martin Torgoff’s Bop Apocalypse

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Bop Apocalypse – Jazz, Race, The Beats, & Drugs – putting the word out on Martin Torgoffs new book from Da Capo.

From the author’s web-site:  “Bop Apocalypse is largely the story of the evolution of jazz and its relationship to the Beats: the first time that drug use coalesced with music and literature, becoming a central element in the creation of an avant-garde American voice and underground cultural sensibility.”.

The book, (an  outgrowth of a chapter in an earlier book of Torgoff’s, and very much its compliment, Can’t Find My Way Home), “features vivid portraits of … Read More

Charlie Parker’s Birthday

Charlie Parker‘s birthday today. We salute, as before, on The Allen Ginsberg Project, “the creator of the cool sound, the most modern of all horn men…”

Bird-fanciers (ornithologists) have plenty to be grateful for this year with the release this past month of Unheard Bird – The Unissued Takes, a new double-CD, featuring 58 previously-unreleased recordings made between 1949 and 1952 for Norman Granz, foumder of Verve Records, showcasing Parker in a variety of settings – in a Latin-jazz orchestra (spotlighting Afro-Cuban rhythms), leading all-star quartets, quintets, and septets, (and we do mean all-star!), solo-ing over … Read More

(Tuesday April 7) Billie Holiday Centennial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Billie Holiday (1915-1959), New York, 1949 – Photograph by Herman Leonard]

Today, April 7, 2015 is the Billie Holiday Centennial

Billie Holiday was born, Eleanora Fagan, in Philadelphia exactly one hundred years ago today.

Allen Ginsberg, writing in 1947: “Billie Holiday is well-known in jazz circles as an amazing great woman. Little Jack (Melody) and Vicki (Russell), who know her, promised to arrange for me to meet her. I had long hoped and expected to meet her one time or another. … Read More

Remembering Jack Kerouac – 2

 
The 1982 memories of (Jack) Kerouac session at Naropa continues
(For the first part of this panel see yesterday)
Audio of these recollections can be found here

The transcript picks up at approximately twenty-seven-and-a-quarter minutes in, with a curiously subdued Peter Orlovsky

[Peter Orlovsky and Jack Kerouac=Photographs by Allen Ginsberg]

AG: Next will be Peter Orlovsky.
Gregory Corso: (And) what year for Peter?
AG: So that would be  probably around nineteen fifty…
Gregory Corso: … four
AG:  …four, Christmas, or fifty-five, maybe mid fifty-five.
Peter Orlovsky – July was it?
AG: I guess. Sometime around then, yeah… Read More

Jazz and the Beat Generation

Jazz and the Beat Generation – from On The Road –  “They ate voraciously as Dean [Neal Cassady], sandwich in hand, stood bowed and jumping before the big phonograph, listening to a wild bop record I had just bought called “The Hunt,” with Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray blowing their tops before a screaming audience that gave the record fantastic frenzied volume.” Allen Ginsberg – on “Howl” “Lester Young, actually, is what I was thinking about. “Howl” is all “Lester Leaps In”. And I got that from Kerouac. Or paid attention to it on account … Read More

Lester Young’s Birthday

Lost Treasures from Jazz's Golden Age Head to Harlem Museum [Lester Young – “Prez” – (1909-1959)]

August 27 – It’s Lester Young‘s birthday today  Henry Ferrini‘s upcoming  film biography is our focus. More on that essential documentary here. Drummer Tootie Heath recalls Lester’s lingo, Wayne Shorter recalls apprenticeship with Prez, George Wein recalls sitting-in, Monica Getz recalls travelling on the bus, David Amram, in 2009, speaking of the exuberance of Lester Young As Ralph J Gleason memorably put it, “If you don’t know who Pres was, you’ve missed a great part of America”. Here‘s the original “Lester Leaps In”Read More

Charlie Parker’s Birthday

Charlie Parker feeling no pain.

Charlie Parker (1920-1955)

 August 29, it’s Charlie Parker‘s birthday. We continue our jazz salutes.
Steve Silberman: Yeah, and that poem (Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues) [not to mention, your own work]) was very much influenced by Charlie Parker who you knew, or saw.

Allen Ginsberg: I saw him a number of times, yeah. In those days – meaning the early ’50s and early ’60s – the musicians, though, they were barred from playing in the clubs under the cabaret licensing laws, which were quite fascist. Anybody who had been busted couldn’t play in a cabaret, and if you couldn’t

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