Van Morrison – A Night In San Francisco

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Van Morrison’s third commercially released live album takes a show format that frequently spotlights the backup band, led by organist/singer Georgie Fame and featuring singers Brian Kennedy and James Hunter, as well as saxophonist Candy Dulfer and blues singers John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, and Jimmy Witherspoon. Even Morrison’s daughter Shana comes on to sing his “Beautiful Vision.” The material is not limited to Morrison compositions, either. In fact, it isn’t so much that Morrison and company cover a variety of rock, pop, blues, R&B, and jazz standards as that many pieces are medleys that contain complete songs and quotes from others, rather in the way that a jazz soloist will suddenly throw in a few bars of a familiar tune. Those who want to see Morrison as an esoteric singer/songwriter rather than a showman may find this album a mongrel creation, but it’s undeniably lively, and that’s the first requirement of a live album.

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