David Crosby’s ‘Sky Trails’ evokes pal Joni Mitchell

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Classifieds -

David Crosby, “Sky Trails” (BMG)

Af­ter decades of groups and col­lab­o­ra­tions, David Crosby’s solo ca­reer has found a sec­ond (or fifth?) wind and “Sky Trails,” his third al­bum since 2015, con­tin­ues the streak of qual­ity in the quan­tity.

There’s a di­rect link to Joni Mitchell in a cover of her “Amelia,” one of her great­est songs, but just as the con­nec­tion be­tween them goes back some 50 years — Crosby pro­duced Mitchell’s 1968 de­but — her inf lu­ence, whether or sub­tle or ob­vi­ous, mu­si­cal or lyri­cal, can be heard across much of the al­bum.

Crosby has fre­quently found in­spi­ra­tion in cur- rent af­fairs and now he tar­gets the law­mak­ing ma­chin­ery on “Capi­tol,” a tune whose in­dig­na­tion will drip down your ear­buds.

“Sell Me a Di­a­mond” also starts off top­i­cal but Crosby also finds more per­sonal and del­i­cate as­pects to the term “conf lict-free.”

Credit for the al­bum’s suc­cess also goes to pro­ducer James Ray­mond, who re­con­nected with dad Crosby some 30 years af­ter be­ing given up for adop­tion in the early 1960s and has be­come a reg­u­lar col­lab­o­ra­tor in the stu­dio and a fre­quent song­writ­ing part­ner.

Their “Curved Air” has a f lamenco gui­tar feel that Ray­mond cre­ated on key­boards and sub­tle use of the vocoder while “She’s Got to Be Some­where” is a dead ringer for “Gau­cho”- era Steely Dan. “Here It’s Al­most Sun­set” could be from Mitchel l’s 1982 “Wi ld Things Run Fast,” with Steve Tavaglione’s rous­ing so­prano sax tak­ing on the Wayne Shorter role.

Closer “Home Free” is a par­tic­u­lar high­light, a med­i­ta­tive, heart­felt song Crosby wrote for “Lit­tle Pink House,” a film about a wo­man who loses her house in a case of em­i­nent do­main.

Crosby says he doesn’t want to take his lat­est gushes of cre­ativ­ity for granted and “Sky Trails” is an ex­cel­lent batch of tunes to con­tinue ap­pre­ci­at­ing and en­joy­ing his tal­ents.

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