Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

5

Tim Buckley: Live At The Troubadour 1969

Sacha O'Grady By

Sign in to view read count
For an artist whose recording career spanned less than ten years, Tim Buckley seemed to get a lot done. From 1966's self titled debut, to Look At The Fool, his final album released in 1974, Buckley's oeuvre is as broad as it is varied. Ever the experimental troubadour, no other singer of the time was capable of absorbing such a diverse range of styles, whether that be folk, blues, jazz, rock, or classical, Tim was the ultimate when it came to freedom of expression.

Recorded on September 3 and 4 1969 at the Troubadour, Los Angeles, this posthumous live album is all the proof one will ever need of Buckley's extraordinary talent, a talent which for some inexplicable reason mainly went unrecognised. The material selected for this set ranges from his LPs Happy Sad, Blue Afternoon, and Lorca. Accompanying him was Lee Underwood (guitar, piano), John Balkin (bass), Carter Collins (congas), and Art Tripp (drums, marimbas), adding atmosphere and subtle texture behind Buckley's impassioned playing and singing.

Opening with the jazz-tinged "Strange Feelin,'" Buckley imbues the tune with a certain majesty, giving it an almost fairy tale, dream-like quality. The term folk-jazz is often applied to Buckley's earlier work, and here the singer's vocal confidence is on full display, yet so much of it is transient, as it is on the wistful "Venice Mating Call," on which Buckley turns his voice into some otherworldly instrument, as he also does on the intense "Gypsy Woman," a song that would soon find a home on Starsailor.

There are moments where Buckley seems lost in his expression, especially on "I Had A Talk With My Woman," where Tim's soft autumnal croon drifts like a mild ocean breeze around the listener's ears, while the previously unreleased song "I Don't Need It To Rain" is like medicine to the soul. "Blue Melody" and "Chase The Blues Away" are both exquisite reminders of Buckley's unique gift as a vocalist, not to mention mystic story teller.

One wonders what the audience must have thought of "Nobody's Walkin,'" where for over 16 minutes Buckley yelps and soars his way into free-form nirvana, something akin to a human saxophone, as the band mesh behind him, forming an almost intangible web of keyboard and congas.

It is remarkable to think that Tim Buckley was only 22 when this recording was made, evidence of his incredible faculty and creative ambition. As a folk singer, Buckley had enjoyed a reasonable amount of success, however by the late 1960's, his penchant for experimentation began to frazzle many of his fans, who began to fall by the wayside once he went off into uncharted waters. Disillusioned and financially frustrated, by the early '70s he would go on to reinvent himself as some sort of sex-funk crooner, as heard on Greetings From LA and Look At The Fool, yet such seemingly commercial ventures weren't enough to bring him the acclaim he deserved and so desired.

Were he around today, Buckley would have no doubt revelled in the fact that his music is still enjoyed and celebrated. Live At The Troubadour sounds as fresh now as it must have then to those lucky enough to have been in attendance. Fortunately for us, this document has survived and is a lasting reminder of Buckley's incomparable talents.

Track Listing: Strange Feelin'; Venice Mating Call; I Don't Need It to Rain; I Had a Talk With My Woman; Gypsy Woman; Blue Melody; Chase the Blues Away; Driftin'; Nobody Walkin'

Personnel: Tim Buckley: Vocal, guitar; Lee Underwood: guitar, piano; John Balkin: bass; Carter Collins: congas; Art Tripp; drums, marimbas

Title: Live At The Troubadour 1969 | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Manifesto

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Troy Collins
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Bringin' It" CD/LP/Track Review Bringin' It
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Landed in Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Landed in Brooklyn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Parrots Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Parrots Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Door Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017