Ralph Alfonso, a Vancouver poet who used to live in Toronto back in the day and managed its premier 1977 punk band, the Diodes, leads Ralph. For this CD, he sets his beat poetry verse to '50s style downbeat jazz with discordant blue piano, vibes, swirling '60s organs, flute, and some real finger-snapping jazz bass, drums, and guitar. The witty, cultured Alfonso name-checks Jack Kerouac, Mario Lanza, John Coltrane, Paul Desmond, and Wes Montgomery and then pulls out one of Montgomery's patented guitar lines -- just one funny moment here of the tough-talking city dweller speaking at us from the streets but with an innate sense of cool. I like his tribute to Canadian big towns on the title track, maybe we'll see him downtown one late night when nothing's still open except the dive bars. You imagine him wearing a beret, sporting a jazz 'fro on his chin, and saying "Das cool daddy o." But would he shoot an apple off the head of his wife in Mexico?
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AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid