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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2009
For those not actually present at this concert (and I wasn't) this live recording actually gives a pretty good idea of what it was like as there is some (but not too much) chat between the songs, mostly from Al but also some responses from Dave. The songs are mostly long versions of well known Al Stewart tracks such as 'Coldest Winter', 'Palace of Versailles', 'Running Man' and my personal favourite 'Old Admirals'.

I would recommend this both to AL Stewart fans, and also as a good introduction to his music - and as a bonus, some wonderful guitar playing from Dave Nachmanoff.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2010
I cannot recommend this cd highly enough. Dave Nachmanoff has produced and accompanies Al Stewart on a great selection of his past work (not necessarily the most well known songs)and has brought a new freshness to Al's work. The sound is crisp and clear and the guitar accompaniment is excellent-listen to the awesome version of News from Spain!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 2011
Just one word - BRILLIANT.

I have been a devotee of Al Stewart since my student days in the 70s and this is a great example of what he does best, enjoying playing his compositions live. Whether it be to a vast festival audience or in the intimacy of a small club he is a master of the craft. Although the wrong side of 60, here he shows that he still has what it takes to captivate his audience!

For those new to Al this selection spans the bulk of his song writing career, albeit with some reworking. However, this does not diminish the songs in any way. No mean guitarist himself, he always seems to team up with great exponents of the instrument and Dave Nachmanoff is outstanding. Some of his playing is sublime beyond belief.

If you enjoyed this album seek out Al's equally superb ealier live offering Rhymes in Rooms, on which he is accompanied by his long term playing confederate Peter White, with outstanding live versions of Josephine Baker and the awsome Nostradamus. Equally, and at a bargain price, his first six albums are available on two Cds, To Which It May Concern and, for my money some of his best work, Orange/Past Present and Future/Modern Times.

Five stars are not enough! Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2010
Possibly the best live recording I have ever heard, my first comment must be on the clarity of the sound - it is superb. This is just as well because the guitar playing is so intricate at times that it really deserves the bright, clean presentation offered here.

Unusually, this subtlety and precision does not come at a cost. This is by no means a cold, clinical repackaging; each track exudes warmth and humour - both in the playing/delivery and, of course, the occasional banter for which Al's live performances are renown. His story about auctioning Dave Nachmanoff is a classic.

And what of Dave? Anyone who has had the pleasure and good fortune to see him on stage with Al will already be aware of the mutual respect they share. This comes through in the music - always true to the original, it is as if each song has been given new life. The arrangements are both sensitive and invigorating; the musicianship is unsurpassed.

Would I recommend this album? Well, I have just bought my fourth copy - one for my wife and I, one for my son, one for my dad. And the other one? A spare - in fact, with a CD this good, I wonder if one spare copy is enough...!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2010
This is essential to all die hard Al Stewart fans - a well selected choice which avoids most of the 'greatest hits' but revisits some of the real gems not always present on his set list in recent years. In my opinion this is probably his best officially released live album - my only criticism would be the awkward cutting between tracks which could have been greatly improved but this does not detract from a five star rating. Dave Nachmanoff's accompaniment is outstanding and I can only hope that his ability receives the commercial recognition that he deserves; as a fan of Al Stewart his interpretation extends beyond that of a mere side kick/session player. I have seen Al Stewart live on many occasions including gigs accompanied by the outstanding musicians Peter White and Laurence Juber but neither of them has quite 'got' Al Stewart as much as Dave Nachmanoff.

Buy this album if you are remotely into Al Stewart and investigate Dave Nachmanoff's work - a fine guitarist and intelligent songsmith.

I look forward to 'Uncorked' 2 and 3 - with such an incredible backlog AS owes it to his fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2011
Al Stewart's first all-acoustic live recording since 1992's Rhymes In Rooms is a little like reconnecting with an old friend.

Although not entirely unexpected, it's still a welcome reminder of just how fine a talent the one-time "Year Of The Cat" hit-maker really is. Especially when left alone in a room to do his thing unadorned by the strings and over-production of some of those records made back when Stewart filled arenas, rather than the smaller, folkier venues where he was recorded here.

On Uncorked, Stewart and his musical counterpart Dave Nachmanoff are simply two guys with their acoustic guitars -- but together they create a surprisingly big noise. The smaller arrangements sound every bit as rich and full here, in a small setting, as on their studio counterparts, thanks to both a marvelously clear and crisp recording, and even more to just how well the two jell together as guitarists.

And that is really the most delightful surprise here. Although Stewart is known primarily for his songwriting talents, this is as much of a showcase for the guitar as it is for the rich wordplay of his songs. The main disappointment is that once Stewart and Nachmanoff really get going, it's not often clear just who is playing which part because they blend so well together.

"Last Days of The Century," for example, is at first propelled by what I presume to be Nachmanoff playing the bass part, with Stewart (again presumably) playing lead. Before long though, the two of them are ferociously trading solos in a blinding blur with all the deftness of Beck and Page in the Yardbirds, causing the audience to break into spontaneous applause at various points.

On "News from Spain," Nachmanoff plays Rick Wakeman's piano solo from the studio version -- an "unenviable task" Stewart jokes -- on guitar, and totally nails it.

But lest we forget his songwriting talents, this album also provides a worthy reminder that Al Stewart is one of music's more literate historical storytellers. Song titles from his catalog like "Palace of Versailles" and "Old Admirals" only hint at the rich escape lying within.

At their best, Stewart's songs are like rich tapestries originating from such places as 16th Century European battlefields ("Coldest Winter"). The stories are mostly told in the first person, and in such ways as to actually transport you there. Stewart's voice has also never sounded better.

Many of the songs here will be unfamiliar to more casual fans -- an intentional decision by the artists, so there would be no overlap between this and the previous live album. So there's no "Year Of The Cat," "Nostradamus," or "Roads To Moscow". However, for the more devoted fans, Stewart does dig deep enough into the well to pull out chestnuts like "Bedsitter Images" and "Carol."

Whether you are already a fan, or you just love great songs, rich storytelling, and some unexpectedly wicked guitar playing, Uncorked is a wonderful new album from an old friend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2011
The main reason I bought this is because I saw Al and Dave live in New York at the City Winery, so my view may be coloured by the whole experience of that evening(and that holiday). The album was recorded at similar live concerts. Al's voice is still unique and great, while Dave does absolutely brilliant guitarwork (and harmonies too) to go along with it - in fact, Dave covers for all the guitar breaks in the original recordings, both electric and acoustic, as well as the sax breaks. This album brings a fresh reworking of Al's stuff, rather than a re-hash, and is recommended for fans. New listeners might also find much here to enjoy, especially the live, acoustic atmosphere and some banter.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2010
Al stewart seems to be virtually unacknowledged or lightly dismissed by many of the so called "contemporary" music critics,and is often omitted when mention is made of the great iconic folk rock musicians of the 1960s onwards, such as Richard Thompson, Nick Drake, The Incredible String Band and so on.In my view this is massively unjust, as Al stewart has been producing consistently high quality work for over 40 years.This cd is quite masterly and includes some breathtakingly good guitar-playing from Dave Nachmanoff.Virtually perfect
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2011
If you are an old 60's rocker and wonder what happened to Al Stewart after "Year of the Cat" then the answer is "plenty". I remember Al's hits from way back but never bought an album so I gave this one a try. It has left me looking for more!

The selection of songs is great, Al still has his voice and the when the guitar player, Dave Nachmanoff, lights up it makes me want to burn my guitar collection. This is a great combination of songs and musicians and I am left hoping Al heads down to my part of the world.

Buy this album now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2011
There's something about Al Stewart's voice that brings a song to life, it's not just the words he sings, it's something in the richness, definition and tone in his voice as he brings the song lyrics to mean something that can't quite be described. Also, he is a much under-rated guitar player and that was never more ably demonstrated than on this CD. I didn't know Dave Nachmanoff previously but he compliments this session in a way that suggests he's also a fan of the words and music of Al Stewart. His playing is fantastic and I can't tell who is playing what throughout this concert which sums it up in my opinion. Each as good as the other!

It appears to me they have tremendous respect for each other and just get on with trying to make the best sound they can and succeed admirably.
You don't have to be a fan of Al Stewart's music (I am) to appreciate what's going on between these two artists, and never having seen Al Stewart play live this probably as near as I will get to experiencing one of his concerts until he decides to tour the UK again. You might know some of the songs but these are different arrangements and the guitar playing is fantastic. The in-between chit chat is kept to a minimum but helps to seal the atmosphere of what it must have been like sitting in the audience when these songs were recorded? Some live performances are spoilt by all sorts of things, from the crowd whistling at the wrong time or not knowing the artist well enough and clapping when they thought a song had ended when in fact it hadn't. (Don't you just hate when that happens?) However; this is a great CD and a superb introduction to Al Stewart if you didn't know his music already. When you've listened to this you will probably want to hear Time Passages and Year of the Cat so I suggest you order those CD's at the same time :) You won't be disappointed.
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