Dion McGregor
Dion McGregor Dreams Again

Tzadik Records TZ7404

Champion sleep-talker Dion McGregor went far beyond the cryptic phrases most of us spew on occasion. Whatever he "said" in his dream was actually spoken (or in some cases, sung) aloud. It's our good fortune that McGregor had an amateur tape-recording buff as a roommate who recognized Dion's nightly performances as a unique opportunity. Over 500 recordings were made, resulting in an LP in 1964, and now this CD.

In a sly, fey voice recalling Truman Capote or Louis Nye, McGregor spins an incredible variety of tales -- fantastical, scatological, musical and comical. Some have punch lines. Most end with an agitated scream.

What's amazing is how coherent and entertaining these "somniloquies" are. One of the best involves McGregor as a collector of mythical beasts. During the narrative he mentions griffins, unicorns, rocs, werewolves, mermaids and other legendary creatures, as if his brain's files are being reorganized and he's building the story as the index cards fly past.

Some have speculated that the McGregor tapes are in fact an elaborate hoax. If that's the case, he was a performance artist more inventive and resolute than Andy Kaufmann. This is spoken-word like you've never heard before. A fascinating document.