Home > News & Reviews > Van Morrison

Van Morrison - Versatile (Album Review)

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 Written by Jacob Brookman

Bang! And another!

The bell has barely rung on the arrival of Van Morrison’s September release, ‘Roll With The Punches’, and we have another collection of standards and original material in our hands. This time, the he delves into swing instead of blues, and the result is an album of thoughtful, terse musicianship made distinct by Van’s unmistakable personality.

Highlights include the languorous, swaggering Let’s Get Lost,  originally penned by Jimmy McHugh & Frank Loesser and popularised by the brilliant Chet Baker.

It’s exactly what you think a Van Morrison version of Let’s Get Lost would sound like, with a superb sax break and gorgeous, varied arrangement. There is absolutely no reinventing the wheel going on here, just expertise and love deployed with God-given (Van would assure us), timeless talent.

Elsewhere, we have a fine instrumental arrangement of the Skye Boat Song alongside a fresh-sounding version of Unchained Melody. The latter has a toned-down presentation, with added sevenths and low-slung horns that adorn and supplement the canine burr of the singer. The quality of the recording is a testament both to Morrison and the song itself, originally penned by Alex North and Hy Zaret.

The album is not quite a knockout, but it does demonstrate the performer's continued creative focus when compared with some of his contemporaries. Actually, his 38th album looks better when placed next to another artist’s 38th record: Bob Dylan’s ‘Triplicate’, which was released in March and also comprised primarily of standards.

Both albums have an oaky richness in the weather-worn delivery of their fantastical auteurs, but ‘Versatile’ is a little crisper and more decisive. As an individual record, it is not terribly interesting, but it's still the work of a master band-leader who shows no signs of slowing down.

Van Morrison Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue December 05 2017 - BELFAST Europa Hotel

Click here to compare & buy Van Morrison Tickets at Stereoboard.com.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




You May Also Like:

Blackberry Smoke - Find A Light (Album Review)
Wed 11 Apr 2018
Ask any fan of Blackberry Smoke which of their albums best represents their sound and they’ll probably go into a tailspin of deliberation. The Georgia quintet may be southern rock stalwarts with an easily identifiable sonic imprint, but they always gift each record its own unique signature, tellingly spicing their musical stew with fresh flavours.
C.W. Stoneking Announces Summer UK Tour Dates
Fri 13 Apr 2018
C.W. Stoneking has announced plans to tour Europe this summer.
Joe Bonamassa Confirms October Shows in Plymouth, Nottingham And Bournemouth
Tue 17 Apr 2018
Photo: Adam Kennedy Joe Bonamassa will return to the UK this autumn for shows in Plymouth, Nottingham and Bournemouth.
Blackberry Smoke Release New Track I'll Keep Ramblin' Featuring Robert Randolph
Fri 23 Mar 2018
Blackberry Smoke have shared another track from their upcoming album, 'Find A Light'.
Kid Rock Announces US Red Blooded Rock 'N' Roll Extravaganza Tour
Thu 12 Apr 2018
Kid Rock has announced plans to hit the road in late summer.
Curtis Harding Confirms Autumn Dates In Bristol, Manchester And London
Thu 19 Apr 2018
Curtis Harding will play shows in Bristol, Manchester and London this autumn.
Walter Trout Confirms June UK Tour Dates
Tue 10 Apr 2018
Walter Trout will return to the UK in late spring.
Joanne Shaw Taylor Confirms October Tour
Tue 24 Apr 2018
Joanne Shaw Taylor will tour the UK this autumn.
 
< Prev   Next >