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Articles | Featured | Future

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

BANG! The Bert Berns Story

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BANG! The Bert Berns Story Abramorama 2018 BANG! The Bert Berns Story compares favorably to The Terry Kath Experience (FilmRise, 2017), not just in the elevated quality of its conception and execution, but in its authorship by an offspring of the subject. Just as the Chicago guitarist's daughter, Michelle Sinclair, helmed the documentary she produced and directed in homage to her late father, this feature is the result of exhaustive research and collation by the late ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Morrison and Joey DeFrancesco: You're Driving Me Crazy

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Van Morrison has been busy, releasing three recordings in quick succession, Roll With the Punches (Exile, 2017), Versatile (Exile, 2017), and presently You're Driving Me Crazy with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. At this point in his career, Morrison can pretty well sing what he damn well pleases. On his past several recordings, Morrison has revisited his catalog, recasting some of his older songs in new frames and You're Driving Me Crazy proves no exception. Revisited here are “The Way Young ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968

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Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 Ryan H. Walsh 368 Pages ISBN: # 978-0735221345 Penguin Press 2018 Before thoroughly delving into Ryan H. Walsh's Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968, a reader can thumb randomly through its three-hundred fifty-some pages and find nary a reference to Van Morrison or the epochal album after which this story of a pivotal year in Boston, Massachusetts is named. But that perception is as ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Van Morrison In Concert

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Van Morrison In Concert Eagle Rock Video 2018 The video equivalent of last fall's pair of albums, Versatile (Legacy, 2017) and Roll with the Punches (Caroline, 2017), Van Morrison's In Concert is comprised of not just one, but two concerts. The main feature was recorded for the BBC Music In Concert Series in 2016, while Up On Cypress Avenue is a slightly shorter hour-long bonus (sic) commemorating the Belfast cowboy's seventieth birthday (hence its ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile

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Van Morrison's disenchantment with the business underpinnings of his creative output has been a continuing theme of his work over the years. It's always been something of a self-serving state of mind, but never so much so with the release of two very similarly-conceived and executed albums, on two different labels, within three months of each other. Roll With the Punches is the Belfast cowboy's second album on the Caroline Records label (following 2016's Keep Me Singing), while Versatile extends ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Morrison: The Authorized Bang Collection

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The casual listener who marvels at the apparent distance Van Morrison covered between “Brown Eyed Girl" and the moody mystical atmosphere of the next year's Astral Weeks (Warner Bros., 1968) will no doubt be astounded to hear The Authorized Bang Collection. As much guidance as the young 'Belfast Cowboy' was absorbing from mentorand label founder Bert Berns, he was nevertheless also plumbing the depths of his soul, not to mention the circumstances in which he found himself in this early ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Morrison: Keep Me Singing

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Van Morrison remains a beautifully mercurial creative force. Thirty-six discreet recordings into a 52-year career, Morrison has only Ray Charles and Willie Nelson, as poly-genre conquering peers, each of whose reach has proven to be expansive and penetrating. This is a rarified trio, to be sure, a very selective club that needs be no larger. Morrison's last recording of new material, Born to Sing: No Plan B (Blue Note Records, 2012), was an upbeat effort that was, or course all ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Van Morrison: It's Too Late to Stop Now - Volumes II, III, IV & DVD

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The announcement of the archiving of Van Morrison's considerably lengthy discography through Legacy Music no doubt generated cautious optimism among his fans and musiclovers in general. Previous reissue initiatives consisted of straight remasterings with minimal bonus additions in any form, while the retrospective of thirty unreleased recordings called The Philosopher's Stone (Polydor, 1998) seemed like a concession to the inevitable in the CD age. But the release of The Complete Them 1964-1967 ( Legacy, 2015) augured well for ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Van Morrison: …It's Too Late to Stop Now…, Volumes I-IV

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Genius, Innovation, that “Thing..." oh, and Live Recording... Early in this new century, All About Jazz published my list of the ten best live rock recordings with a second installment addressing “the best of the rest." Ten years of praise and ridicule have led me to accept how naive I was to believe that I could reduce such a list to so few recordings (even in the compressed period of 1969 to 1979). Certainly a worthy addition to ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Van Morrison: Another Wondrous Decade: Under Review 1977-1987

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Van Morrison Another Wondrous Decade: Under Review 1977-1987 Chrome Dreams 2015 Early on in Another Wondrous Decade, an exploration of Van Morrison's post-hiatus career in the late Seventies and Eighties, recording engineer Gary Ladinsky makes an ever so astute point about The Belfast Cowboy's approach to recordings: ..."he's particular but he's not picky.." This distinction may seem nothing more than semantics, but it is, instead, representative of the erudite insight in the famous Irish-born musician's ...