Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Country Blues and Celtic Soul

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Country Blues and Celtic Soul

Article excerpt

Byline: JACK MASSARIK

JAZZ

Van Morrison

Ronnie Scott's

****

JAZZ? Well, perhaps not specifically as we know it, but there's a gritty emotional validity and solid pulse about Van Morrison's music that always goes down well at this jazz bastion. And unlike most chart stars, he also plays acceptable harmonica, guitar and alto sax. Two dynamic shows by the Ulster-born singer-songwriter, whose maverick blend of countryblues was recently redefined as "Celtic soul", kept the customers highly satisfied last night.

Smart in his dark suit and snappy Panama straw hat, his features no longer obscured by beard and dark glasses, the former alcoholic and stage-fright victim sang powerfully and worked hard. Between numbers he hardly said a word and never cracked a single smile (in Belfast you can get beaten up for less) but he did chuckle at his own lyrics occasionally and looked very nearly laid-back.

Flanked by six men in black and Sarah Jory on pedal-steel guitar, Morrison revelled in their warm, Texas-country sound. …

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