47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Van Sings Cool Jazz,
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This review is from: Born To Sing: No Plan B (Audio CD)
"Born To Sing: No Plan B" is Van Morrison's thirty fifth studio album in forty five years and his first new album in four years. It is also a return to the celebrated Blue Note jazz label for which he recorded the critically acclaimed "What's Wrong With This Picture?" The good news is that his latest album deserves equal acclaim. Although the usual musical elements of celtic soul, blues, rock and jazz are evident it is the latter that dominates the set.
Recorded in Belfast with a six piece band the album was produced by Van and all ten songs were written by him. The lyrics are linked to a common theme - materialism and greed and the devastating effect that they have on society. On the lovely, lilting "Going Down To Monte Carlo", with Van also playing piano and alto sax, he observes:
"Sartre said that hell is other people, I believe that most of them are".
But, the grumpiness aside, this is a beautifully realised album with superb musicianship which is perfectly displayed in the compelling "Close Enough For Jazz".
Van's production makes the sound of Hammond organ, electric guitar, tenor sax, trumpet, piano, trombone and drums warm and blissful as he swings through some of his best songs in years. Yes, he is famously curmudgeonly and a serial complainer but when he can write and perform music as inspired as this he can surely be forgiven.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Oct 2012 19:01:12 BDT
Red on Black says:
Great review Angel Delta - sounds like well worth seeking out.
Posted on 7 Oct 2012 11:50:08 BDT
Very good review for this excellent CD. Its been a long wait since the last album. Music aside Van has done well to avoid political or social commentary in the past, particularly coming from Northern Ireland (where I live) and I'm hoping with his theme on materialism and greed he doesn't become another celebrity feeling he has something to say through his music. Leaving that aside, the tracks are sublime and 'Close enough for Jazz' requires a deep bow to the master. Saw him live in Feb in Belfast where he played some of the tracks. Hope to see him in a week or two again in Belfast. Think he is mellowing a little with age!
One little thing...on the audio quality side at the end of Going back to Monte Carlo I have what seems like distortion and 'fuzziness'. At first I though it was my speakers but its there on whatever equipment I play the track and is present on the physical CD and the MP3 download.
Posted on 10 Oct 2012 11:08:49 BDT
Kevin Stapleton says:
Come on Van, you're not supposed to submit reviews off your own album.
Angel Delta? You're not fooling me.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Nov 2012 08:40:34 GMT
The noise you are describing is "reed noise" from the saxophone. You get it on lots of jazz recordings, even "A Kind Of Blue" has it.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Nov 2012 20:21:50 GMT
Thank you. I'd come to a similar conclusion after listening to some jazz by another artist and getting the same noise, which was clearly from the instrument. Thanks for giving it a name.
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