Moondance (1970), by Van Morrison, is probably one of the most notable songs to crossover to jazz than any other. It is also the title of the album upon which it appears. Prior to its release, Astral Weeks (1968), was not well received, and while creating the Moondance album, Morrison wanted to make music that would be more quickly accepted by the masses. It has been said that he admitted that he “made records primarily to sell them”. His fear was that if he “went too far out”, his intended audience would not be able to relate. With quite unorthodox methods, he pulled off one of his greatest musical feats. The album was not only well-received but also surpassed all expectations. To my chagrin, one reviewer said, in reference to the release of Moondance, “Forget Astral Weeks . . .”. But to that, I say NAY!. I have been a die-hard Morrison fan since the early seventies and, in my opinion, Astral Weeks was one of the absolute greatest albums that he’s ever recorded, not just musically but lyrically, as well. But we’ll leave that for another discussion. This is about Moondance, just one more notch in a belt that is so full of notches that there’s no more room for even one more notch. Have a listen. If you’ve never heard it before, you are indeed in for a royal treat.
Sometimes, it’s not jazz at all, but at least, . . . it is jazz(y).
Listen to Moondance on Spotify.
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