Q - 11/99, p.1473 stars out of 5
- "...featuring famous pieces such as 'Goya's Greatest Scenes' and 'Sometime During Eternity', with a backing from Dana Colley, and between them, they conjure up the Greenwich Village flavor of the times."
The Wire - 10/99, p.53
"...Beat poet godfather Lawrence Ferlinghetti revives his classic CONEY ISLAND among other poems, in versions accompanied by...Dana Colley's 'noir jazz'...". Alternative Press (1/00, pp.89-90) - 3 out of 5
- "...witty recordings of the poet reading from his best-known work...the music veers between various signposts on the jazz and rock highways."
JazzTimes - 12/99, pp.150-2
"...Alternately cautionary and celebratory, these sensitively read surrealistic snapshots of '50s America retain their lively if shallow appeal four decades after their controversial appearance..."
Personnel: Lawrence Ferlinghetti (spoken vocals); Robbie Soltz (throat singing, drums); Dana Colley (various instruments); Max Azanow (piano); Greg Koeller (bass); John Kiehne (Chapman stick); Billy Conway, Jerome Deupree (drums); Jim Sampas (wheel); John Sands (brush).
Recorded at American Zoetrope, San Francisco, California. Includes liner notes by Jim Sampas and David Greenberg.
Jim Sampas and producer extraordinaire David Greenberg (Duplex Planet) got together to right an unforgivable wrong in the beat poet discography. Before this release, there was no complete CD album of Ferlinghetti's 30-poem cycle, The Coney Island of the Mind. Musical accompaniment to the beat bard's spoken word is the surviving members of Morphine. Dana Colley is on the horns, and Billy Conway is on drums accompany the master wordsmith, with other musicians. Each piece has its own backing music, seeking affinity with its mood. Ferlinghetti similarly varies his voice for each short poem. At once he is a self-assured New "Yawker," then an austere commentator with a papery voice. It is natural to contrast Ferlinghetti's Coney Island with Ginsberg's Howl. Ferlinghetti's signature piece is also a perfect example of the beat literature. It is a union of sexual imagery and introspection into the soul of youthful America. Where Ginsberg is an evangelist, a visionary for his cause, Ferlinghetti effortlessly and without drama summons up his observations. While Ginsberg views a soulless and decadent America from a tenement rooftop, Ferlinghetti sees as far from a bus stop, from an afternoon delight in a Central Park bush. Five other pieces follow the complete cycle. ~ Tom Schulte