May 19, 1997 12:00 PM

Sekou Sundiata

Let’s be honest: the words “poetry album” can conjure up long-repressed flashbacks of Rod McKuen. Luckily some are taking the form into a new, and thankfully cooler, realm. One is Sekou Sundiata, who brings a musician’s sense of rhythm to the spoken word (“When in the empty city/ A siren blasts through the stop-go/ Then gone the city returns to humming just below middle-C/ An unsettled heart maybe next door”). A longtime fixture on the New York City poetry circuit, Sekou has made a record that flows jazzily and resonates with the seductiveness of a smoky soul song. Whether Sekou is accompanied by his band (on the finger-popping “Days Going By in Broken English”) or simply lets his honey-roasted voice carry the beat, The Blue Oneness of Dreams is a poetry album for people who never thought they’d listen to one. (Mouth Almighty/Mercury).

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