Sam Charters lecture on Jack Kerouac and jazz at the Jack Kerouac conference is simply fascinating. Not big Jazz aficionados ourselves, the lecture includes discussions on jazz of the Beat generation, be-bop, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and a recording of Kerouac and Steve Allen reading “Mexico City blues.” And it all makes sense, even to our untrained ears.
Recorded in 1982, and coming straight from The Naropa University Archive Project, the NUAP is a collection representing several generations of artists who have contributed to aesthetic and cultural change in the postmodern era. The Naropa University Archive Project seeks to enhance appreciation and understanding of post-World War II American literature and its role in social change, cultural criticism, and the literary arts through widespread dissemination of the actual voices of the poets and writers of this period. Shakey Time’s felt as though they’d been given a very very early Christmas present on discovering all this was free too.
If you like Kerouac or Jazz, you’ll fall over backwards when you realise just how good this talk is. If you don’t like either, you’ll still probably have to take a take a moment afterwards. Genius.