PAULSIMON

Australian HIFI - - EISA AWARDS – 2018-2019 -

In The Blue Light Well this is rather bet­ter news and far bet­ter fare for Si­mon fans, the man him­self rein­ter­pret­ing 10 of his more “over­looked” or “al­most right” com­po­si­tions for a new al­bum which sup­ports also his cur­rent farewell tour, and per­haps rushes to cor­rect the ap­palling Grace­lands remixes re­lease (left). On one level this con­cept is counter-in­tu­itive—if the orig­i­nals are not known, how will peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate the re­work­ing? On the other hand, fans that have fol­lowed him through the dips may not think them ob­scure at all. Can’t Run But, the first of two songs recorded with New York cham­ber sex­tet yMu­sic (who also ac­com­pany him on tour) is a clear high­light, and Si­mon might have filled an al­bum with these dra­mat­i­cally ef­fec­tive set­tings, as Peter Gabriel did with his or­ches­tral al­bum ‘New Blood’. But Si­mon cal­cu­lates well by in­stead vary­ing the ap­proaches and the pace, work­ing with looooong- time pro­ducer Roy Halle and a top-notch cast in­clud­ing Steve Gadd, Win­ton Marsalis, and Jack deJohnett, who drums (we think) on How The Heart Ap­proaches What It Yearns and Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy, both of which are per­haps over-’jazzed’, ob­scur­ing the songs as much as or­na­ment­ing them, but the New Or­leans shuf­fle take on Pigs, Sheep and Wolves (orig­i­nally from 2000’s ‘You’re The One’) is a real blast, giv­ing this ‘the wolf is in­no­cent’ tale a timely po­lit­i­cal rocket up its de­liv­ery chute. Clos­ing here is Ques­tions for the An­gels— which must have been an “al­most right” song first time around, be­cause it’s di­vinely per­fect here.

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