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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 20 October 2004
The first official release by Jeff Buckley was the EP Live At Sin-é, which came out in November 1993, and consisted of four songs recorded in the midst of the Greenwich Village scene in which he had been nurturing his formidable talents, just Jeff and his guitar in front of an intimate regular audience. Two of the songs were originals - Mojo Pin, the result of an earlier collaboration with Gary Lucas, and Eternal Life. Both of these songs were to turn up on his debut album, Grace, recorded that autumn. The other two were Edith Piaf's Je N'en Connais Pas Le Fin and Van Morrison's The Way Young Lovers Do. They were selected from recordings made at Sin-é on 17 August 1993 and probably would have been all we ever heard of these events had it not been for Jeff's tragic death just one album into his career.
Jeff's posthumous releases have been sensitively curated by his mother, Mary Guibert, first with the sketches and outtakes of what would have been his follow-up album My Sweetheart The Drunk, and then with selections of live recordings on CD and DVD, and an expanded edition of Grace, and so far they have served to enhance his reputation and status.
For this release, the Sin-é tapes of that nights plus an earlier night on 19 July have been edited into an assemblage that resembles one whole concert, complete with the between-song interplay with the audience. It makes a fascinating document of an assured performer, at the outset of a major career, enjoying performing, enjoying a relaxed relationship with a responsive audience. Although the banter is comical and spontaneous, the actual performances are intense, emotional and fully focused, and at times one forgets that Jeff is alone on the stage with only his electric guitar due to the range of sounds in his musical palette. The material is eclectic, with much of the material from Grace set against wide-ranging external material that he himself was exploring, ranging from three Bob Dylan songs, Billie Holiday, Led Zeppelin, Ray Charles and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the latter apparently as a result of a shouted request, and in whose music Jeff had a deep musical and spiritual interest.
These were special nights, and it is a privilege to re-live the experience from this release, which also includes a bonus video disc, thankfully a DVD rather than CD-ROM, of an interview with Jeff and extracts from a return to Sin-é on New Year's Eve 1996, just months before his death on 29 May 1997
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