Monday, 4 June 2018

Van Morrison - Versatile (2017)

I forgot that love existed....

  

Released December 2017

Running time 68.22

A couple of months on from releasing an album of storming, high quality blues covers, Van Morrison proved it was too late to stop now and put out this classy album of pre-rock n roll swing/jazz standards in an gently upbeat, drum brushes and stand up bass style with lounge bar keyboards as opposed to the more traditional, orchestrated backing associated with Sinatra and, unfortunately, countless Rod Stewart/Bradley Walsh “mothers’ day” albums. This is a much more enjoyable album of these type of songs. There is a nice late night jazzy feel to the material and Morrison’s voice always has a gruff, instantly recognisable appeal. I’m no true jazz aficionado, but this sounds good to me. In many ways, it is a fine little gem of an album.

TRACK LISTING

1. Broken Record

2. A Foggy Day
3. Let's Get Lost
4. Bye Bye Blackbird
5. Skye Boat Song
6. Take It Easy Baby
7. Makin' Whoopee
8. I Get A Kick Out Of You
9. I Forgot That Love Existed
10. Unchained Melody
11. Start All Over Again
12. Only a Dream
13. Affirmation
14. The Party's Over
15. I Left My Heart in San Francisco
16. They Can't Take That Away From Me           

Some do not care for the saxophone-driven instrumental version of The Skye Boat Song. Personally I love it. Great keyboards, nice saxophone from Morrison, nice percussion. Just very enjoyable. The much-covered Bye Bye Blackbird is impressive too, as is Let's Get Lost and the beautifully bassy Take It Easy Baby. Morrison’s take on I Get A Kick Out Of You is top notch. Nice to hear his new, jazzy, take on his own I Forgot That Love Existed. He doesn't quite pull off Unchained Melody, however.

The sound quality on this album, by the way, is superb. It is a pleasure to listen to.

Basically, I like all the music on here. You either like it or you don’t. I liked the dirty, authentic blues of Roll With The Punches and I also liked the country of Pay The Devil. I like Van Morrison. It seems many just want him to do Bright Side Of The Road-type material and nothing else. Van Morrison is at a stage in life, indeed he always has, when he just what he feels like doing. Good for him.

B-

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