His Band and the Street Choir

His Band and the Street Choir

5.0 1
by Van Morrison
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Released in 1970, Van Morrison's Moondance was a hit commercially and critically. Encouraged by his manager, Morrison and a sextet -- including three players from the Moondance sessions -- hit the studio and delivered His Band & the Street Choir in time for that year's holiday season. Morrison responded to the pressure by relaxing into it. The

Overview

Released in 1970, Van Morrison's Moondance was a hit commercially and critically. Encouraged by his manager, Morrison and a sextet -- including three players from the Moondance sessions -- hit the studio and delivered His Band & the Street Choir in time for that year's holiday season. Morrison responded to the pressure by relaxing into it. The feel here is loose, often celebratory. He digs deep into his long-held fascination with the New Orleans R&B tradition for inspiration. "Domino" is his highest charting single. The funky guitar lick, left-hand piano rumbling, driving, Memphis-style horns, and pumping bassline kick things off in grand party style. The ballad "Crazy Face," written in 1968, melds acoustic guitar, mandolin, and piano. Morrison's brittle, bluesy saxophone line and a grooving B-3 tip the balance toward R&B. "Give Me a Kiss" has a great Zigaboo Modeliste feel in the horn charts; Fats Domino gets referenced in Alan Hand's piano stroll, and the punchy, doo-wopping tag in the chorus nods at Frankie Ford. "I've Been Working" (which dates to Astral Weeks) is Morrison at his funky best, roaring above a cooking choogle. The acoustic guitar vamp is highlighted by swirling organ, and electric Meters-esque guitar and basslines. Drummer Dahaud Elias Sharr lays down tough breaks and fills throughout as jazzy horns frame the singer. "Call Me Up in Dreamland" features the loose-knit "street choir" (musicians, wives, girlfriends, etc.). It's built on the ragged, Celtic soul-gospel template that Morrison would continue to refer to. The intimate "I'll Be Your Lover Too," adorned only by acoustic guitar and whispering drums, is haunted with the slow-burn passion that would flow so easily on 1972's Saint Dominic's Preview. Second single "Blue Money" is a Rhodes-and-brass driven blues that returns to the NOLA trick bag for fire. The poetic "Virgo Clowns" is painted in a lovely meld of 12-string acoustic guitars and bass clarinet. "Gypsy Queen" is slippery love song, with Morrison offering a gorgeous falsetto. The Celtic soul in "If I Ever Needed Someone" is highlighted by the same trio of backing vocalists that appeared on Moondance's "Crazy Love." The closing title track draws on the swaggering, testifying gospel that inspired that album's "Caravan" (and, played back-to-back, seems to grow right out of it). The street choir's backing is sweeter, balanced by eloquent sax and harmonica breaks. As an album, His Band & the Street Choir may not equal Astral Weeks or Moondance, but the aim was never that lofty. That most of these songs have endured as fan favorites is testament enough to their quality.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0075992718820
catalogNumber:
1884

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Van Morrison   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Keyboards,Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals
Janet Planet   Background Vocals
Martha Velez   Vocals
Judy Clay   Background Vocals
Larry Goldsmith   Vocals
Alan Hand   Organ,Piano,Saxophone
John Klingberg   Bass
John Platania   Guitar,Mandolin,Rhythm Guitar
Andrew Robinson   Vocals
Ellen Schroer   Vocals
Jack Schroer   Piano,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Dahaud Elias Shaar   Percussion,Bass Clarinet,Drums,Background Vocals
David Shaw   Clarinet,Percussion
Keith Wonderboy Johnson   Organ,Trumpet
Keith Johnson   Organ,Trumpet,Keyboards
Janet Planet   Vocals

Technical Credits

Gene Simmons   Composer
Janet Planet   Liner Notes
Van Morrison   Composer,Producer,Audio Production

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

His Band and the Street Choir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
Most already know that Van Morrison is one of the greatest singers of our age but his writing is fantastic as well and this album more than proves it.