Scribble Christmas Gift Lion For Real Shrouded Stranger Cleveland The Flats Stanzas Written At Night In Radio City Hum Bom Guru C'mon Jack Gregory Corso's Story End Sunset Krai Majales Ode To Failure
A long way from the cliched tableau of the coffeehouse beat poet shouting spontaneous verses to the accompaniment of bongos, THE LION FOR REAL pairs one of contemporary poetry's most iconic figures with some leading lights in experimental and improvisational music. Released in 1989 (eight years before Allen Ginsberg's death), THE LION FOR REAL highlights the parallels between instrumental and verbal music, framing the sharp, clipped rhythms of Ginsberg's work via sympathetic and intense jazz accompaniment.The personnel assembled here are mightily impressive, including Bill Frisell, Arto Lindsay, Marc Ribot, Steve Swallow, and G.E. Smith. These musicians selected poems of Ginsberg's they felt particularly drawn to, then composed charts to accompany Ginsberg's readings of those poems. The music falls somewhere between avant-jazz and film music, modifying and accentuating the tone and mood of each piece. Though Ginsberg's best known work is absent, there is plenty to appreciate here, from autobiographical narratives ("Kral Majales"), to metaphysical speculations ("The End"), to sheer funky wordplay ("Hum Bom!"). Sometimes beautiful, sometimes jarring, THE LION FOR REAL makes plain the poetry of music, and the music of poetry.
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