A really cool little collection – and one that only has partly to do with the beat-era writings of the legendary Jack Kerouac! Jack does appear on the set, and there are some spoken passages by some of his contemporaries – but the sprawling 2CD set does a heck of a lot more to illuminate the vibe of the time – by bringing together jazz vocal and instrumental tracks that were key to the beats, as well as a whole bunch of beatnik-related recordings – some by authentic acts, some by others who were a bit more tongue in cheek – doing their own thing to throw their hat in the ring in the pre-hippie generation! As with other collections on Bear Family like this, the presentation is wonderful – great notes and a fantastic choice of songs – 52 tracks in all, with work by Babs Gonzales, Three Bips & A Bop, King Pleasure, Big Jay McNeely, John Barry, Shel Silverstein, Lenny Bruce, Slim Gaillard, Ken Nordine, Kenny Clarke, Paul Gayten, Oscar Brown Jr, Carl Sandburg, Charlie Parker
, The Bee Hives, Louis Nye, Mamie Van Doren, Bing Day, Bob McFadden, Joel Hall, Don Morrow, Lambert Hendricks & Ross, Allen Ginsberg, Paul Evan
s, and Jack Kerouac himself!