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Every Child Is Born a Poet

Piri Thomas

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Customer Reviews

The Guardian (UK) review Friday June 23, 2006

What a great title. And how good to hear an album that lives up to it. This rich and multifaceted 27-track CD is based on the soundtrack to Jonathan Robinson's film about Piri Thomas, the Nuyorican "poet laureate", assembled from the poet's own readings and sessions led by auteur/producer Kip Hanrahan. The tracks are played by names familiar from Hanrahan's work: Alfredo Triff, Robby Ameen, Stefon Harris, Fernando Saunders, etc and Latin trumpet star Tedulo "Chocolate" Armenteros.

Thomas, now in his 70s, has a speaking voice that is still powerful, resonant and urgent. The music moves logically from improvised textures to Latin schmaltz; from streetwise percussion jams to the minimalist, multitracked pianos of Hanrahan's instrumental title track. The young boy's spoken voice on I'm Tough is almost unbearably moving: "I'm tough. I hope I'm tough enough." If you enjoyed Chavez Ravine, you will find this similarly fascinating. Every Child Is Born a Poet may lack the hits of Ry Cooder's LA opus, but it's packed with a similar kind of engaging detail.

- John L Walters

Downbeat review February 2006

Hanrahan deftly mirrors the coarse power of Thomas' intrepid narratives, showcasing the sharp musicianship of longtime associates, like drummer Robby Ameen and percussionist Milton Cardona. The album traces the intricate path of Thomas' life, recounting his troubled exploits as well as his triumphs, and embellishing his dramatic spiel with Hanrahan's soundscapes. Thomas' clear-eyed poetry cuts like a knife, and the profundity of his tales is never in doubt.

– Mitch Meyers

Every Child Is Born a Poet, Piri Thomas
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Spoken Word, Music
  • Released: Mar 30, 2006

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