His Band And The Street Choir Van Morrison
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- 2Crazy Face02:56
- 3Give Me A Kiss02:40
- 4I've Been Working03:26
- 5Call Me Up In Dreamland03:52
- 6I'll Be Your Lover, Too03:53
- 7Blue Money03:45
- 8Virgo Clowns04:11
- 9Gypsy Queen03:17
- 10Sweet Jannie02:10
- 11If I Ever Needed Someone03:47
- 12Street Choir04:51
Info zu His Band And The Street Choir
The dark night of the soul that culminated in „Astral Weeks“ found its counterpart in Morrison's next two albums, the seminal „Moondance“ and its subsequent sister, „His Band And The Street Choir“. Both released in 1970, these latter two albums defined the folk/soul/blues amalgam that would prove to be the foundation of Morrison's music. The photos inside the sleeve reveal Van as country gentleman, looking at home and (dare we say it) happy. This image is furthered by his then-wife Janet Planet's liner notes, which paint a picture of Van as a man reborn.
The music more than bears this out. The tunes here are among the most soulful in Morrison's repertoire. The classic opener 'Domino' finds him wailing over a punchy horn section and insistent, percolating rhythms, setting the tone for the rest of the album. Van rocks his way through the R&B-inflected 'Blue Money,' gets down on the funk workout 'I've Been Working,' and waxes lyrical on 'If I Ever Needed Someone,' which seems to be both a gospel song and love ballad simultaneously. „His Band And The Street Choir“ is perhaps Morrison's most open, exuberant recording.
„After the brilliant one-two punch of Astral Weeks and Moondance, His Band and the Street Choir brings Van Morrison back down to earth, both literally and figuratively. While neither as innovative nor as edgy as its predecessors, His Band and the Street Choir also lacks their overt mysticism; at heart, the album is simply Morrison's valentine to the R&B that inspired him, resulting in the muscular and joyous tribute 'Domino' as well as the bouncy 'Blue Money' and 'Call Me Up in Dreamland.' (Jason Ankeny, AMG)
Van Morrison, guitar, harmonica, tenor saxophone, vocals
Judy Clay, backing vocals on 'If I Ever Needed Someone'
Alan Hand, piano, Hammond organ, celeste
Emily Houston, backing vocals on 'If I Ever Needed Someone'
Keith Johnson, trumpet, Hammond organ
John Klingberg, bass
John Platania, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin
Jack Schroer, soprano, alto, and baritone saxophones, piano
Dahaud Shaar (David Shaw), drums, percussion, bass clarinet, backing vocals
Jackie Verdell, backing vocals on 'If I Ever Needed Someone' The Street Choir
Recorded March–July 1970, at the A&R Recording Studios, New York City
Engineered by Elliot Scheiner
Produced by Van Morrison
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One of music’s true originals Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast.
Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life.
Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.
Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’.
Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career.
After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm.
Recorded over 3 days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation and Afro Celtic Blues wailing.
Morrison would weave these and myriad other influences into the albums that followed in quick succession.
Reflecting on new life in America on the joyous Sinatra soul of Moondance (1970) and the country inflected Tupelo Honey (1971) he summoned old spiritual and ancestral life in the epic St Dominic’s Preview (1972) closer track Listen To The Lion.
Double live album Too Late To Stop Now (1973) highlighted Morrison’s superlative performing and bandleader skills. Mapping out a richly varied musical course throughout the 70s he shone among an all-star cast including Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters on The Band’s Last Waltz.
Indeed, borne of his Irish Showband instincts, the magic of the live performance has been a consistent feature of Morrison’s career.
Settling back into life in the UK in 1980 he released Common One an album centring on Summertime In England an extraordinary invocation of literary, sensual and spiritual pleasure the song would often become a thrilling improvised centrepiece to his live shows.
Steering his own course throughout the 80s on albums such as No Guru, No Method, No Teacher he claimed Celtic roots with The Chieftains on Irish Heartbeat. Teaming with Georgie Fame brought new impetus to his live show while Avalon Sunset saw him back in the album and single charts by the decades end.
Van Morrison continued to advance on his status as a game- changing artist through the 90s and into the 21st century.
Awards and accolades - a Brit, an OBE, an Ivor Novello, 6 Grammys, honourary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster, entry into The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and the French Ordres Des Artes Et Des Lettres - attested to the international reach of Van’s musical art.
Yet there was never any suggestion that Morrison, one of the most prolific recording artists and hardest working live performers of his era, would ever rest on his laurels.
Collaborations with, among others, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Lonnie Donegan, Mose Allison and Tom Jones confirmed the breadth of his musical reach.
Morrison’s visionary songwriting and mastery of many genres continued to shine on albums celebrating and re-exploring his blues, jazz, skiffle and country roots.
The influence of the musical journey that began back in Post War Belfast stretches across the generations, and Morrison’s questing hunger insures that the journey itself continues.
Constantly reshaping his musical history in live performance, Morrison reclaimed Astral Weeks on 2009’s album Live At The Hollywood Bowl.
The subtitle of Van Morrison's latest album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, indicates the power that music still holds for this living legend. "No Plan B means this is not a rehearsal," says Morrison. "That’s the main thing—it’s not a hobby, it’s real, happening now, in real time."
With one of the most revered catalogues in music history and his unparalleled talents as composer, singer and performer Morrison’s past achievements loom large. But, as throughout his extraordinary career, how that past informs his future achievements and still stirs excitement and keen anticipation.
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