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 ...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 ...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 ...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 ...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 ...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 ...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 ...read more
Van Morrison's position as one of the leading white soulmen of our times is as firmly grounded as his begrudging acceptance of celebrity status. The Belfast Cowboy so reviles the cult of personality that has surrounded him since his days leading Them, that it has resulted in his steadfact refusal, since the advent of the compact disc, to take advantage of the extensive archiving possibilities offered by the format.
Coincidental with the release of a new album, however, Morrison consented ...read more