Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Ken Nordine

I was in college when I found the work of Ken Nordine. That voice, that voice, those words, flowing, growing, pedals in your mind melding common images of daily life with a quick pun that tangentially shifts, ships passing in the mind, not that he would ever mind. Quick, colorful, playful, absurd, and smart, he combines music with words, abstract creations of consciousness that bathe you in warmth.

You've heard his voice on a thousand commercials or the radio if you are a Blackhawks fan. His voice, deep and subtle, kind yet heavy, is unique. But he is more than pipes, he is a wordsmith in his own right and in the 50s began performing his Word Jazz with the likes of Chico Hamilton and Zoot Sims. Twenty albums later, he continues on abated with contemporary musicians including his son. The quality of his work has never wavered (I all but wore out Devout Catalyst). As if the good people of Chicago didn't horde enough culture, they are treated to his weekly radio show.

But stingy he isn't. His website is wonderful and there is many a piece set to visuals by his people on Youtube. Here are a couple to whet your appetite:

Happy birthday Ken Nordine and thanks for all the joy.