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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Morrison: The Essential Van Morrison

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Here is a compilation that truly lives up to its name--a generous collection of 37 singer Van Morrison's classic gems, covering a period of several decades of immense creativity and musical journey, from his earliest classics with the band Them up until songs from his later recordings like Magic Time and Pay the Devil. Blessed with an electrifying soulful and booming voice, deep, introspective and stream of consciousness sort of lyrics, Morrison is a living testament to a career wrought ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Van Morrison at The Limerick Jazz Festival

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Morrison: Moondance Expanded

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Van Morrison: Born to Sing: No Plan B

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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 ...


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