Allen Ginsberg

Lion for Real

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Recorded in the late '80s, The Lion for Real consists primarily of brief poems set to avant-jazz. Producer Hal Willner has assembled a group that at various times features Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell and Arto Lindsay, and they skillfully navigate the emotional tones and wit in Ginsberg's poems. This doesn't contain any of Ginsberg's major works, but it's a welcome reminder of his irascible humor and mischievousness. [The 1997 reissue of The Lion for Real contains two bonus tracks, including "The Ballad of the Skeltons," which features instrumental support from the unlikely pair of Paul McCartney and Phillip Glass.]

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