Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Van Dyke Parks|
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
No Description Available. Genre: Popular Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 29-MAY-1990
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No Description Available.
Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 29-MAY-1990
Jump! is a brilliant, Broadway-ish paen to Americana.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Waltham, Massachusetts, USA | 11/02/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Written as the score of a never-produced musical, Jump! must be the best score in the history of Broadway rejects. A gifted melodist and arranger, Parks digs deep into his Southern roots and pulls out this Brer Rabbit of a bouncy, melancholy masterpiece. Not for those who like their pop predictable, ironic or cynical, I predict that Jump! will be Van Dyke Parks greatest legacy, the truest reflection of his extraordinary grasp of the heart of American music. Arranger-to-the-stars Van Dyke Parks tends to divide listeners down the middle, with some loving his self-consciously literate, allusive pop compositions, and others failing to appreciate his idiosyncractic genius. I have been intrigued by Parks ever since hearing his legendary late 60's pop masterpiece, Song Cycle. With exceptions of Jump! and Song Cycle, Parks' solo work has been uneven, with flashes of brilliance appearing in the midst of heartfelt but rather unoriginal covers of calypso hits. I generally applaud his hard to describe blend of clever wordplay, pop/rock tunesmithing, and classical Americana. Parks' own musical idol is Louis Moreau Gottschalk, the early 19th century American composer championed by Liszt and Chopin, who took the world's concert halls by storm with a blend of European classical technique, minstrelsy and Creole dance forms---a full century before Gerswhin and Ellington were hailed for accomplishing similar fusions. If Gottschalk was an underappreciated genius, as many believe, Parks is his worthy, 20th century, pop-savvy heir. In addition to Jump! and Song Cycle, I can recommend the Parks compiliation Idiosyncratic Path, and his recent live album, Moonlighting. Also check out his stunning orchestral interludes on Sam Phillips gorgeous art-rock meets-the-Byrds-and-Beatles album, Wow."
At his best
bgandl | Detroit | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Van Dyke Parks at his worst is willfully obscure and self indulgent. Here, he is at his best: witty, melodic, each note bursting with sweetness. His lyrics are (as always) amazing. The improbable instrumentation includes chromatic harmonica, hammered dulcimer, harp, steel drum and full orchestra and chorus on every cut. It's a Disney cartoon soundtrack on acid. It has such a good heart!
I heard him do this work live in the back room at McCabe's Guitar Store in Santa Monica along with a few dozen other fortunate souls in 1982. Robin Williams, all living members of Little Feat, Eric Anderson, Joni Mitchell, Eric Idle of Monty Python and others I have since forgotten were drawn by his reputation and it was an amazing night. The most amazing thing was that there were empty seats!!! This album does that concert justice.
Moonlighting and Song Cycle are the other two must-own discs."
bgandl | 10/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know much of his solo works, as I know him best for his collaborations with the equally eccentric Brian Wilson. He has taken the cliche Briar Rabbit tales and revitalized them in a way that is unimaginable. He makes Southern folk music fun again. Somewhat reminds me of the early New Orleans Jazz. But your music collection has a very weirdly shaped hole in it without this CD."