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Word Jazz Pioneer Ken Nordine Has Passed Away At Age 98

Posted by Billyjam, February 16, 2019 09:39pm | Post a Comment

 
The golden voiced, word jazz pioneer Ken Nordine died this morning at age 98 at his North Side Chicago home as confirmed by his son earlier today.  Nordine's familiar sounding, deep commanding voice was one that many in previous decades knew from his voice-over work on Hollywood movie trailers and national radio and TV commercials. Examples include his voice-over of the trippy animated 1971 Levi’s jeans TV ad seen below. But Nordine’s legacy will be best remembered beyond the commercial realm, and for his jazz radio and spoken word jazz recording career.  Although it was thanks to his TV and radio work, in particular an early sixties paint radio commercial voice-over,  that most would first be exposed to his "word jazz" creation. Many recent decade music listeners would first hear Nordine via the numerous modern day artists who have sampled him.

Word-jazz was something Nordine initially crafted in the mid-fifties during the beat era and showcased with his 1957 debut album Word Jazz that he recorded with the Fred Katz Group for the Dot record label. WIthin a year he released the sequel Son Of Word Jazz in a recording career that would span five decades and include several different record labels such as San Francisco's now defunct Asphodel Records