All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

2

Van Morrison: The Authorized Bang Collection

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
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 period of transition.

The revelations begin to arrive just three tracks into the first of the three discs in this set. After a pristine stereo mix the aforementioned pop gem of 1967, Morrison takes five and seven minutes plus respectively to ponder his surroundings, ruminating in such a familiar way that the connection is unmistakable to Week's "Cypress Avenue" and, later on, "Listen to the Lion" from St. Dominic's Preview (Warner Bros., 1972) (each of which had its own concession to commerciality in the form of "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)," as did its predecessor Tupelo Honey (Warner Bros., 1971) in the form of "Wild Nights").

Soon after, "Who Drove the Red Sports Car" is almost cinematic in the mysterious unfolding of events Van describes with a delivery as wide-eyed in wonder as it is guttural. Like so many tracks here that appear in different takes, it begs close comparison to its counterparts, not just in hopes of unveiling its mysteries, but feeling the soul in the singing; Van's invokes his muse in a variety of ways here, spontaneously thinking out loud regarding arrangements and other improvisational motifs that would surface later in his career.

Van Morrison's own involvement in this package goes way beyond curating the sixty-three (!) tracks compiled by Grammy-award-winning Andrew Sandoval, who also meticulously delineates the timeline of the various previous releases on this artist-authorized collection, As with in his own extended essay for The Complete Them 1964-1967 (Legacy, 2015), the initial release in archival series, Morrison also goes to great lengths in the accompanying booklet here to clarify his personal and creative relationship with the late Berns.

And, much like his written reminiscence within the aforementioned chronicle of his seminal Irish band, the man explicates his projected aims with his Bang Records affiliation and the extent to which they correlated with the man who doubled as his record producer. Understandably, the exorcism of the conflicted partnership comes across in terms most stark on "The Big Royalty Check," but on a more subliminal level as well, particularly during many of the cuts contained on the disc subtitled (with arch cynicism) 'Contractual Obligation Sessions,'

There is no image more telling of this uneasy atmosphere than the photo of producers and engineers with Van Morrison, head in his hands, seemingly in the throes of bemoaning his woes at the situation in which he finds himself. Nevertheless, a listener might wonder why that's the case when hearing the cauterizing emotionalism on "Joe Harper Saturday Morning;" the galvanizing performance is framed with terse and savvy accompaniment by a wealth of experienced studio musicians including keyboardist Paul Griffin (who took part in Bob Dylan's early electric work two years before).

Clearly as inspired in their own way as the various members of Them or the Caledonia Soul Orchestra on both the original and expanded supplement to It's Too Late to Stop Now (Legacy, 2016) this complement of session men find the nucleus of direction for their support in the diminutive cauldron of creativity that is Van Morrison: The Authorized Bang Collection depicts him repeatedly making every attempt, on 'The Original Masters,' as well as 'Band Sessions & Rarities,' to comprehend and communicate in his own inimitable voice. The chameleonic likes of that herculean effort which fill these CD's will compel the completist in any musiclover.

Track Listing: CD 1 – The Original Masters: Brown Eyed Girl; He Ain’t Give You None; T.B. Sheets; Spanish Rose; Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye); Ro Ro Rosey; . Who Drove The Red Sports Car; Midnight Special; It’s All Righ; Send Your Mind; The Smile You Smile; The Back Room; Joe Harper Saturday Morning; Beside You; Madame George; Chick-A-Boom; The Smile You Smile. CD 2 – Bang Sessions & Rarities: Brown Eyed Girl; Ro Ro Rosey; T.B. Sheets; Goodbye Baby (Baby Goodbye); Send Your Mind; Midnight Special; He Ain’t Give You None; Ro Ro Rosey; Who Drove The Red Sports Car; Beside You; Joe Harper Saturday Morning; Beside You; Spanish Rose; Brown Eyed Girl; Brown Eyed Girl. CD3 – Contractual Obligation Session: Twist And Shake; Shake And Roll; Stomp And Scream; Scream And Holler; Jump And Thump; Drivin’ Wheel; Just Ball; Shake It Mable; Hold On George; The Big Royalty Check; Ring Worm; Savoy Hollywood; Freaky If You Got This Far; Up Your Mind; Thirty Two; All The Bits; You Say France And I Whistle; Blowin’ Your Nose; Nose In Your Blow; La Mambo; Go For Yourself; Want A Danish; Here Comes Dumb George; Chickee Coo; Do It; Hang On Groovy; Goodbye George; Dum Dum George; Walk And Talk; The Wobble; Wobble And Ball.

Personnel: Van Morrison: vocals, guitar, harmonica; Eric Gale: guitar; Hugh McCracken: guitar; Al Gorgoni: guitar; Donald Thomas: guitar; Artie Butler: keyboards; Russ Savakus: bass; Bob Bushnell: bass; Herbie Lovelle: drums; Gary Chester: drums; George Devens: percussion, mallets; Jeff Barry: backing vocals, tambourine; Cissy Houston, Dee Dee Warwick, Myrna Smith: group backing vocals.

Title: The Authorized Bang Collection | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Legacy Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Book Reviews
DVD/Film Reviews
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
You're Driving Me Crazy

You're Driving Me...

Sony BMG Legacy
2018

buy
The Authorized Bang Collection

The Authorized Bang...

Legacy Recordings
2017

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

Van Morrison: It's...

Legacy Recordings
2016

buy
Keep Me Singing

Keep Me Singing

Caroline International
2016

buy
The Essential Van Morrison

The Essential Van...

Legacy Recordings
2015

buy
Moondance Expanded

Moondance Expanded

WarnerArchives
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "6 Mulleres" CD/LP/Track Review 6 Mulleres
by Don Phipps
Published: September 1, 2018
Read "Barxeta II" CD/LP/Track Review Barxeta II
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Peter and the Wolf" CD/LP/Track Review Peter and the Wolf
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "20" CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 20, 2018
Read "Traveling Pulse" CD/LP/Track Review Traveling Pulse
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 15, 2018