Van Morrison Limerick Jazz Festival University Concert Hall Limerick, Ireland September 25, 2014 Who would have thought that Van Morrison commands a following as loyal and dedicated as fans of the Grateful Dead? The tickets for the singer's concert in Limerick had sold out in an hour and a half, which must have been particularly satisfying for the organizers of the third Limerick Jazz Festival, but more remarkable were the pilgrimages people had made to catch the Celtic soul man. Fans had journeyed from America, England, Sweden and Switzerland. Many more ...read more
Described as classic by the artist himself, Van Morrison's Moondance is one of those albums that is nothing but a sublime pleasure to rediscover it via the expanded edition. In its remastered version, the polished perfection of the original ten collection of tracks heightens a delicate density that's further illuminated by hearing the outtakes, alternate versions and rehearsal sessions from which the beloved album was condensed. The relative simplicity of the material and its arrangement may be the first of multiple epiphanies arising from a hearing of this 1970 album revisited. The prominence of acoustic guitar and piano ...read more
A propitious return to Blue Note Records, Born to Sing: No Plan B is one of the most inspired and accessible albums of singer/songwriter Van Morrison's storied career. It would not be appropriate or accurate to draw direct comparisons to Moondance (Warner Bros., 1970), His Band & The Street Choir (Warner Bros., 1970) or Tupelo Honey (Warner Bros., 1971), but it is fair to say this is comparable work, albeit in a more mature musical and emotional context.In keeping with the title of the album as a statement of purpose, Open the Door (To Your Heart)" sounds like ...read more
When Ray Charles died in 2004, he left only one artist with a comparable musical vision and depth and breadth of creative reach: Van Morrison. For 40 years, Morrison has surveyed the spectrum of American music, just as Charles had. Morrison passed blues, soul, R&B, rock, country, jazz and folk of the New World through an emerald prism that imparted each with his personal Irish quintessence. On Born to Sing--No Plan B, Morrison's 39th album and his first studio recording in four years, the singer remains in good voice and steady in direction. Morrison recordings are often ...read more
Van MorrisonCivic Theater San Diego, CA October 6, 2010 Talk about excitement in the air: after skipping San Diego for 37 years, Van Morrison staged a triumphant return on Wednesday night. The concert at the Civic Theater sold out almost instantly months ago. On the long walk into the venue, four or five different individuals made pleading queries of extra ticket?" to no avail. The gathering audience were mostly in the fifty-something" category--and ready to rock. Morrison has a dodgy reputation when it comes to live performance--so that anxiety was also ...read more
Forty years after the release of his seminal work, Astral Weeks (Warner Brothers, 1968), Van Morrison decided that the time was right to play the entire album live. To recreate the record acknowledged by many critics as one of the best of all time, Morrison enlisted guitarist Jay Berliner (who played on the original album), many musicians he had worked with previously, and a full string section.
Recorded in early November, 2008, almost forty years to the date from the release of the original LP, this CD finds Morrison more world-weary and grayer, as well as in a ...read more
Inasmuch as the six titles range from the sublime to the pedestrian, the latest batch of Van Morrison remasters constitutes a microcosm of The Belfast Cowboy's entire discography.
Because Morrison is such an uncommonly gifted artist, it's possible to excuse the oversights in the overall archiving process, including lack of details in the remastering preparation and production as well as the ostensible lack of contribution from the artist. The Belfast Cowboy has never been comfortable dealing with his past and the remasters series, so far at least, is clearly no exception.
Nevertheless, because such a project provides the opportunity to ...read more