Friday, July 31, 2009

After Hours

Jo-El Sonnier & Richard Thompson. Tear-stained Letter

Another priceless clip from the long-gone series Night Music. Yes, I say that even though David Sanborn gets in on the act. Has that hair ever looked good on anybody? Let's see... Yes - on the Tonkean Macaque. Observe:

Thompson wrote the song in 1983 (it's on The Hand of Kindness), Sonnier covered it in 1988, so it was probably performed around that time. Yeah, it's really fast and it sounds super-frantic, but this tune's energy is off the charts. I really like Thompson's playing a lot of the time, especially on faster numbers. He often sounds like he's on the edge of complete disaster during any given solo. But he always manages to sound coherent, polished and excellent in the end. Sonnier gives the tune a more authentic super-rockin' zydeco feel, which was what Thompson was reaching for when he originally wrote it. I think this is the best version of all by far - even though it slows down after the first chorus and the ending is a little ragged. And yes, even Sanborn isn't bad - even though he basically plays the same thing twice when he's trading off with Thompson. It's yet another Night Music triumph.

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