City Paper is not for tourists
Ken Nordine is the voice of God. At least I hope so. Anything he might say to me in his deep, mellifluous voice I will gladly accept as Gospel. The fact that he’s quite mad makes surrender to him all the more pleasant. Inventor of “Word Jazz,” slightly Beat poetical ramblings set to jazzy riffs, Nordine has been using his consoling, cajoling voice for art and commerce since the early ’50s (think of Folgers Coffee ads). They say that Lawrence Olivier could recite the phone book to great dramatic effect. Maybe, but he never did. Here, Nordine goes one better, offering 34 musical musings on the spectrum, from “Olive” to “Coral.” Burgundy, we are told, “is fat. Sorry to be so blunt.” Nordine’s rainbow is also more comprehensive than most, including such unexpected shades as “Ecru” (“doesn’t know when to say yes and when to say no”), “Cerise” (“is out of it”), and something called “Nutria” (“innocent as an innocent can be innocent”). This disc is a reissue of a 1967 album that began as a series of commercials for a paint company. The suits gave Nordine free rein—both a wise and dangerous plan—but had little idea of what to do with the results after they aired. Nordine bought the rights back and released this “sensuous listening experience.” Colors is that, as well as witty, giggly, bizarre, and, hey, true. Burgundy is fat.