Announcing the Historic David Amram Poetry JAM CD — Celebrating 57 years of Spontaneous JAMs!
It's been 57 years since David Amram began collaborating with poets, creating music on the spot while accompanying verse!
The first poet happened to be the beloved Jack Kerouac at the Circle in the Square in New York City in 1957. Since then, many lucky artists have had the pleasure of jamming with David.
This CD was recorded 12 years ago with some of America's finest poets, and the 39 tracks have been mixed from 2" tape to bring you this historic anthology. Most of these tracks have never been heard before, and have never been released commercially.
It is unlikely that a CD like this will ever be created again, as David composed all of the music for 39 tracks (including layering tracks) completely on the spot with no music written in advance. The CD begins with David rapping "Psychic Supper", where he created a new never-before-spoken poem. What follows are simply gorgeous musical collaborations — pure genius — a lifetime of musical knowledge combined with the divine spark of spontaniety.
I am so fortunate to have worked with David for the past 18 years, and am estatic to share this One-of-a-Kind American Classic Original Masterpiece with all of you!
— Casey Cyr Gash, Producer
MYSTIC, CONNECTICUT (August 1, 2012) - Calque Cinema Records is pleased to announce the release of David Amram Poetry JAM – a historic 39-track CD Anthology featuring original musical compositions by world-renowned multi-instrumentalist, composer and conductor David Amram, described as "the Renaissance man of American music" by The Boston Globe.
This historic CD represents the culmination of the work of a generation, as David Amram jams with poetic luminaries as he has done since 1957 when he performed with Jack Kerouac in New York City's first-ever jazz & poetry readings – now 57 years ago!
David Amram is a pioneer of the genre of literary and musical collaborations. From 1957-1958, Jack Kerouac and David Amram with Philip Lamantia and Howard Hart held a series of New York City's first-ever official public jazz and poetry readings at the Brata Art Gallery, the Circle in the Square Theater and Brooklyn College. Those historic readings are described in David's books "Vibrations," "Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac" and "Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat" published by Paradigm Publishers.
David accompanies readings of original poetry by poetic luminaries (in alpha order) Casey Cyr, Steve Dalachinsky, Albert Kausch, Richard L. Martin, Lee Ranaldo and Ron Whitehead, who have collaborated together live on stage, in the studio, and who share titles published by the Kerouac-inspired boutique imprint Hozomeen Press.
Ron Whitehead, author of 21 books and 31 cds has been hailed by many as the poet of his generation "I have long admired Ron Whitehead. He is crazy as nine loons, and his poetry is a dazzling mix of folk wisdom and pure mathematics"- Hunter S. Thompson. Lee Ranaldo is a musician, visual artist, writer, and founding member of the New York City group Sonic Youth. Richard L. Martin is founder of Hozomeen Press, Cosmodemonic Telegraph and the Telegraph Recording Company, collectively releasing some 300 titles of poetry, prose, graphics and music over the last 20 years. Dr. Albert Kausch, is a geneticist and poet, and has invented over twenty patents. NYC poet Steve Dalachinsky is the author of numerous books and CDs. Casey Cyr is a writer, musician, visual artist, founder of Calque Cinema Records & Publishing and producer of David Amram Poetry JAM.
The CD's 39 tracks were recorded in three sessions between 2000 and 2001, the first occurring before David celebrated his 70th birthday. The excitement of the new millennium in Times Square was nearly rivaled by David Amram's landmark 70th Birthday Bash at New York City's Knitting Factory, which featured several artists on these recordings. Other collaborations included events at the 16-venue 3-day New York Underground Music & Poetry Festival, a tribute to Gregory Corso at Nuyorican Poets Café, and Old Angel Midnight: A Tribute to David Amram and Jack Kerouac at New York's popular HOWL Festival.
David Amram Poetry JAM was recorded at New York City's world-class studio Sorcerer Sound, known for its superb recordings by eclectic, established and ground-breaking artists such as: Norah Jones, Matthew Shipp & DJ Spooky, Allen Ginsburg, Philip Glass, John Cage, Public Enemy, L.L. Cool J, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Richie Havens, Bob Dylan, Herbie Hancock, Violent Femmes, Television, Luna, The Sugarcubes and Jeff Buckley to name a few.
In the studio, as each poet read, David listened intently, composing on the spot. David Amram crafts spontaneous compositions that harmonize with the poem, as he draws from an arsenal of instruments from the four corners of the globe – Shanai, Doumbek, Lakota Courting Flute, Congas & Cascara, Moroccan Clay Drum, Tambourine, Ocarina, Irish Double D Whistle, Piano and French Horn. Instruments are only tools for his creations. It is his ability to transmute language into sound and vibration that convey his alchemical genius. Through a lifelong love affair with music, literature, language, and life itself, David Amram is a true master. An aspect of his diverse mastery is forever captured in these joyful and poignant collaborations.
David Amram's Biography
David Amram has composed more than 100 orchestral and chamber music works, written many scores for Broadway theater and film, including classic scores for films Splendor in The Grass and The Manchurian Candidate; two operas, including the ground-breaking Holocaust opera The Final Ingredient; and the score for the landmark 1959 documentary Pull My Daisy, narrated by novelist Jack Kerouac. He is also the author of three books, Vibrations, an autobiography, Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac, a memoir, and Upbeat: Nine Lives of a Musical Cat published in the fall of 2007 by Paradigm Publishers. To purchase Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac and David Amram's other books, please visit: www.paradigmpublishers.com
A pioneer player of jazz French horn, he is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, as well as an inventive, funny improvisational lyricist. He has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, who chose him as The New York Philharmonic's first composer-in-residence in 1966, Langston Hughes, Dizzy Gillespie, Dustin Hoffman, Willie Nelson, Thelonious Monk, Odetta, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, E. G. Marshall, Johnny Depp and Tito Puente. One of Amram's most recent works Giants of the Night is a flute concerto dedicated to the memory Charlie Parker, Jack Kerouac and Dizzy Gillespie, three American artists Amram knew and worked with. It was commissioned and premiered by Sir James Galway. His two most recent orchestral works are Symphonic Variations on a Song by Woody Guthrie, commissioned by the Guthrie Foundation, premiered Sept. 29 2007, and Three Songs: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra premiered in January of 2009. He was the Democratic National Convention's composer-in-residence in August of 2008 in Denver.
Today, as he has for over fifty years, Amram continues to compose music while traveling the world as a conductor, soloist, band leader, visiting scholar, and narrator in five languages.
"David Amram is one of the most versatile and skilled musicians America has ever produced ..."
– Washington Post
"Amram was multicultural before multiculturalism existed."
– New York Times
"Amram may be able to play more types of music than any other man. He is a relentless pied-piper of pan cultural persuasiveness, leading listeners into a global circle that brings all peoples together."
– Milwaukee Journal