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This review is from: Blues And Haikus (Audio CD)
To tell the truth, I've always been a little suspicious of Kerouac's abilities as an author; Truman Capote once commented that his work wasn't writing but typing - a view that, with the best will in the world, it's hard to refute. However, I've always found him an interesting, slightly ludicrous but thoroughly engaging figure in the Beat pantheon and was intrigued to hear how he took to recording. I'm pleased to say that this album has changed my view of Kerouac. His work really comes to life when it's read out: his expressive voice beautifully counterbalanced by the excellent saxophone work from the legendary Al Cohn and Zoot Sims. The 14 minute opening track "American Haikus" is, by turns, funny and poignant while his attempt at singing the blues on "Hard Hearted Old Farmer" is not as bad as you'd expect. This is an essential album for anyone interested in the Beats, Kerouac or the crossover between poetry and performance.