Ken Nordine's Word Jazz
began in the 1950s
(not the 1960s
) in Chicago
. His first records, Word Jazz
and Son of Word Jazz,
were released on Dot Records.
Associated with beat poetry
, Nordine teamed up with Jerry Garcia
, David Grisman
and Tom Waits
to produce an album in the early 1990s
called Devout Catalyst.
Ken continues to broadcast a weekly radio show on WBEZ
, the Chicago NPR
affiliate. He also used to do the voice overs for Amoco Oil
He lives in Chicago with his wife.
"I was going to be a concert violinist until I learned that working with my voice was a much easier way to do it. I think the thing that happened to me is that I like writing, and I like writing for speaking. It's a different kind of writing. A good line is like a stone that's been smoothed by water running over it. In other words, if it's not on the beat, if it's not in the pocket, you'll know right away. It's like a line in a good jazz solo."
1955 - Passion in the Desert (FM) / 1963 (FM)
1957 - Word Jazz (Dot) / 1967 (Dot) / 1983 (MCA)
1958 - Son of Word Jazz (Dot)
1958 - Love Words (Dot) / 1959 (Dot)
1959 - My Baby (Dot)
1959 - Next! (Dot)
1959 - The Voice of Love (Hamilton)
1960 - Word Jazz Vol. 2 (Dot)
1966 - Colors (Philips) / 1995 (Asphodel)
1967 - Ken Nordine Does Robert Shure's Twink (Philips)
1968 - The Classic Collection: The Best of Word Jazz Vol. 3 (Dot)
1971 - How Are Things In Your Town? (Blue Thumb)
1972 - Ken Nordine (Blue Thumb)
1979 - Stare With Your Ears (Snail) / 1988 (Snail)
1984 - Triple Talk (Snail)
1986 - Grandson of Word Jazz (Snail)
1990 - Best of Word Jazz (Rhino)
1991 - Devout Catalyst (Grateful Dead)
1993 - Upper Limbo (Grateful Dead)
2001 - Transparent Mask (Asphodel)
1955 - The Shifting Whispering Sands - Billy Vaughn (Dot)
1957 - Concert in the Sky - Teddy Phillips and His Orchestra (Decca)
1958 - Sounds In Space (RCA Victor)
1961 - Radio Rebus (US Army)
1968 - H.P. Lovecraft II - H.P. Lovercraft (Philips) - "Nothing's Boy"
1997 - Fun for the Whole Family - Lord Runningclam (Bottom Heavy) / 1998 (Moonshine Music) - "Faces in the Night" and "Flibberty Jib"
1998 - Sound Museum - Towa Tei (Elektra) - "The Sound Museum"
2000 - A Dub Plate of Food Vol. 2 - DJ Food (Ninja Tune)
2000 - Kaleidoscope - DJ Food (Ninja Tune) - "The Ageing Young Rebel"