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David Amram's Beat Memories

Victor Bockris, High Times, December 2003

David Amram is an American treasure. A multi-instrumentalist who can play in all styles, he's composed classical concertos and symphonies, accompanied poets on spoken-word records, and played with some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. In a career now spanning 50 years, the 72-year-old Amram appears to have never wasted a minute. He moved from working with the jazz greats into the welcome arms of the jazz-loving beats. Amram wrote the music for the classic beat film Pull My Daisy, narrated by Jack Kerouac. Amram's latest book, Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002), chronicles his collaborative relationship with Kerouac on music. Seemingly unbeknownst to all his other biographers, Kerouac not only had an ear for music, but was a good jazz singer. Together they made a number of records, which have only recently been released, including Jack Kerouac reads on the Road (Rykodisc).

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