Robert Anbian – voice, poetry | E. Doctor Smith – The Drummstick, samples | Charles Unger – tenor & soprano saxophones | Sam Peoples -acoustic & electric piano, samples | Mike Shea – acoustic & electric bass
Produced by Robert Anbian and E. Doctor Smith. Poetry written and performed by Robert Anbian. Music by E. Doctor Smith and Charles Unger. Engineered by Bill Raymond. Mastering by Andrew Scott at Studio 401 SF, CA thestudios401.com
Tracklist: 1. Wish We Were Here 2. Cultural Affairs 3. Carl Street 4. Night and Day 5. We 3.6 6. We 3.11 7. We 3.12 8. Haikus for the White House
Anbian is a raw mixture of poet, preacher, seer, and rebel… these poems are unlike anything else on the market. Anbian the angst-catcher, has captured both his subjects and his responses in vision-charged, some times Whitmanesque, direct statements. – Choice
writes about sex, politics, seas and oceans, city streets, deserts, war, love, music, highways, petty larceny, ecstasy, childhood, death, memories. His poems and stories are populated with the poor, lost, exiled, angry, crazy in love, and intoxicated. “We, the chaos people/ the pre-manufactured people….” His syntax is mangled, his narrative a montage. He has little use for metaphor. He means exactly what he says. His texts are homespun, esoteric, oddly familiar and strange. He’s discovering the music in language, in thought, in the cortex of consciousness. He’s funny.
That Anbian, a leading voice in the San Francisco poetry underground, isn’t more widely known is as much a tribute to his “odd man out” obstinacy as to the usual reluctance of society to deal with its critics. Yet obstinacy has a point. Anbian writes a poetry that won’t surrender an inch of imaginative freedom to love, hate, or ideology – his own above all. With I NOT I (EDT4072), the word comes from the poet himself in a writer’s voice – that is, in a language demotic, impassioned, and little peculiar. Included in this powerful follow-up to the 2007 poetry and jazz CD, Robert Anbian and the Unidentified Flying Quartet, also on Edgetone Records (EDT4052), is a sweeping selection from Anbian’s epochal WE series, in a new sequence enacting the poems’ contingent, open-ended form. This is an important recording for anyone interested in poetry, spoken word, literature, anti-literature, and the troubled junctures of culture and politics.
Robert Anbian has published three poetry collections, WE Parts 1 & 2 (Night Horn Books 1999), Antinostalgia (Ruddy Duck Press 1992) and Bohemian Airs & Other Kêfs (Night Horn Books, 1982). His most recent publication is the chapbook, Blame the Powerful: Political Poems (War&Peace Press 2004). His work has appeared in the anthologies, Beyond Lament: Poets of the World Confront the Holocaust (Northwestern) and Practicing Angels: A Contemporary Anthology of San Francisco Bay Area Poetry (Seismograph), at www.newversenews.com, and in the literary periodicals City Lights Review, North Coast Literary Review, Oxygen, Left Curve, Oro Madre, Compages, and the electronic journal, Rif/t. From 1978-82, he edited the literary review, Oboe. A native of New Jersey and graduate of the University of Virginia, Anbian lives and works as journalist and editor in San Francisco.
Right from the very first note, terms like “hip” or “cool” suddenly start making sense again and the distinctly urban side of Jazz comes crash-landing in the 21st century on wings of smoothness and poetry. Anbian could make a metal filing cabinet in a tax agency feel sexy with his warm, deep and sonorous voice… – Tobias Fischer, Tokafi
His voice crackles with a midnight vibe that at times makes you wonder that if Kerouac or Burroughs were still alive, perhaps they would they be tapping into the same source of magic and energy.” – Ryan Sparks, Sea of Tranquility
Mere words can’t even begin to describe how marvelous this sounds, and how whacked-out yet utterly brilliant Anbian’s poetry is. Fans of poetry, spoken word, exotica, and jazz need to hear this. – THE ONE TRUE DEAD ANGEL
Anbian creates an impressionistic, dreamy ride through a typical cultural mecca at night, with love, politics and the aforementioned fetish in mind…Call this lounge music for the apocalypse… – Mike Wood, Music Emmissions
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)