This reissue of a 1993 live album was never intended to memorialize Townes Van Zandt (in the saddest of posthumous ironies, its Sugar Hill sleeve includes a phone number to call for bookings), but it'll do for now. Originally released by Sundown, a tiny Austin indie with limited distribution, the 17-song set finds Van Zandt in fine form – upbeat, gracious, apparently sober – and in good company, with fiddler Owen Cody and guitarist Danny Rowland adding a dimension of musical enhancement that never overwhelms the nuances of the material. As anyone who ever saw Van Zandt fall off a stool recognizes, there was no such thing as a typical Townes performance, but when he was good, no one working in the Texas troubadour tradition has ever been better.
Features SHM-CD format and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. One of the most dynamic albums that Andrew Hill ever cut for Blue Note – a record of long tracks, played by a largeish group who seem perfectly suited to Hill's most creative musical ideas! There's an approach here that almost predates some of the more righteous soul jazz ensemble sides of the 70s – as Hill's piano leads a octet that features Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, John Gilmore on tenor and bass clarinet, Cecil McBee and Richard Davis on basses, Joe Chambers on drums, and Nedi Quamar and Renaud Simmons on percussion. The percussionists roll out with quite a bit of presence in the set – not so much as on some of the Art Blakey percussion sides for Blue Note, but more with a pronounced sense of "bottom" that you might not always hear from Hill – an earthy, sometimes organic way of riffing that then allows freer solo work from the horns and piano on the top!
Three great names of the organ: Widor, the founder of the french symphonic organ and his two most briliant works; Vandenheuvel, pathfinder of a new era of organ making as show his creations in St-Eustache (Paris) or Genève (Victoria Hall); and Kristiaan Seynhave, a multi-awarded young Flemish virtuoso who impulses extraodinary vitality in his playing. The whole gives a full hour of pure pleasure, with glamorous sound.