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Phil Ford on the Jack Kerouac and John Clellon Holmes jazz acetates

John Clellon Holmes acetateIndiana University Jacobs School of Music professor Phil Ford, heard recently on our Night Lights program Jazz and Jack Kerouac, will be giving a talk this Friday (Oct. 19) on private acetate recordings that Kerouac, John Clellon Holmes, and Allen Ginsberg made in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I’ve had occasion to hear a brief bit of one of the acetates, which featured Keroauc, Holmes, and Seymour Wise doing scat/bop vocalese accompaniment to early Lennie Tristano sides. (The trio jokingly called themselves “the Three Tools”… they sounded better than you might think, somewhat close to the Dave Lambert-Buddy Stewart vocal tracks on the original Charlie Parker Bird at the Roost Savoy CDs.) I don’t know when or if the acetates will ever see release, but they offer another interesting angle on how jazz affected the sound of the Beat Generation writers.

For south/central Indiana readers of the blog, the talk takes place on the IU campus at the Jacobs School of Music Library in Room 267 (the library is located at the corner of Third and Jordan in Bloomington). Readers everywhere can catch Phil blogging regularly at that oasis of hip academic irreverence known as Dial M for Musicology.

David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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