RA­DIO MO­MENT OF THE WEEK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - AUDIO REVIEWS -

Van’s as­tral year The Doc­u­men­tary on One: The Sum­mer of As­tral Weeks

(RTÉ Ra­dio 1, Sat­ur­day) re­unites those in­volved in the record­ing of Van Mor­ri­son’s clas­sic al­bum from 1968, with one no­table ab­sence: Mor­ri­son him­self. Far from ham­per­ing Alan Tor­ney and Tim Des­mond’s doc­u­men­tary, this al­lows the other par­ties to rem­i­nisce freely, un­hin­dered by Van’s pres­ence. Over nar­ra­tion from ac­tor Richard Dormer, mu­si­cians, friends and Mor­ri­son’s ex-wife Janet tell the twisty story of how a pen­ni­less Van dealt with Bos­ton stu­dents, New York mob­sters and be­mused jazz play­ers to pro­duce his vi­sion­ary work. It’s an ab­sorb­ing lis­ten, even for non-fans. Still, when Janet de­scribes the glow­er­ingly mer­cu­rial – grumpy, if you pre­fer – Mor­ri­son as a “gor­geous man”, one has to pinch one­self.

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