Über Ken Nordine
There's something about hearing Ken Nordine say the word "Russett" -- "r-r-r-RUSS-ett" -- that just doesn't translate on paper. This quintessential piece of "word jazz," like the rest of 1966's Colors, finds his deep, smoky voice musing about a favorite hue to the backing of an ultra-sedated jazz rhythm section. Originating with the '50s beatnik scene and weaving its way through more recent collaborations with Tom Waits and the Grateful Dead, Nordine's long career has also involved extensive voice-over, commercial, and radio work. So even those who haven't heard the records are likely to recognize The Voice; if not, well, you don't have to do all of those silly lounge revival things like stirring up a martini, just listen.