Geoff Muldaur: His Last Letter

Geoff Muldaur: His Last Letter
Title: His Last Letter
Label: Moon River Music
Product Type: VINYL LP

"His Last Letter" (The Amsterdam Project) is Geoff Muldaur's most ambitious project to date; a tour de force in a long line of highly-acclaimed recordings by this venerable musician. Muldaur takes us on a musical journey, collaborating with some of Holland's finest classical and jazz musicians, to present stylish renderings of tunes from the American folk and jazz-blues "song-bag". Folk musician Geoff Muldaur has created an impeccable late oeuvre: Once again, he proves this grandiosely with His Last Letter. A major label could have afforded such lavish packages for an earned exceptional artist. What, however, all the money in the world couldn't buy is the quality of the music, which catapults His Last Letter into a category for which the label "Album of the Year" would be an insult. We hear nothing less than a quantum leap back into the future. About two thirds of the repertoire, we know from Muldaur himself, songs by Jimmie Rogers, J.B. Lenoir or Fats Waller. The rest is the ambitious composition work of a passionate man who knows how to weave a line from "Blackjack Davey," a Brahms motif and undisguised admiration for Samuel Barber into a suite which has for a theme his own great-grandfather's death in Yokohama. The outcome is something that I deemed impossible until now: In my opinion, the intentional amalgamation of two musical worlds - often called fusion - leads to a loss of the respective strength of each genre. This began with the ambitious rock-classical crossovers of the late sixties, conceived to impress high school teachers, and it has not been overcome, see "Hip Hop meets Symphony Orchestra". Under the artistic direction of Muldaur, however, this sounds as if "Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies" or "Boll Weevil Holler" have simply taken a different evolutionary junction, as if already in 1972 the chance had arisen to keep the academic music world alive through an embrace of the various traditional and folk musics, to rescue it from ossification. Above all, the tracks show a tremendous respect for the material, paired with a filigree delivery that has so far not been heard, and, possibly due to the mastering work of one of the grandmasters of the profession, Bob Ludwig, lifted to another level. The LP Boxed Set cover of the His Last Letter illustrates Muldaur's approach and effect: Two views of Amsterdam - one from a 1670 painting, one a contemporary photograph - merged in pointillistic design; present and past offer a view that can only be directed towards the future. We stand astonished before this miracle of transparency and transcendence.

1.1 Side A-Black Horse Blues
1.2 Betcha I Getcha
1.3 Michigan Water Blues
1.4 Lady of the Lavender Mist
1.5 The Whale Has Swallowed Me/ Side B- Boll Weevil Holler
1.6 The Jitterbug Waltz
1.7 Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You?
1.8 Gold Tooth Blues
1.9 Prairie Lullaby
1.10 Side C - Mistreated Mama
1.11 Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies
1.12 The Frog
1.13 My Little One
1.14 Heavenly Grass
1.15 Side D Octet in Three Movements : Overture
1.16 His Last Letter
1.17 Homage

Geoff Muldaur: His Last Letter

Regular price Sale price $55.18 $59.98
Product-type:VINYL LP
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