LA TIMES: Van Morrison & Tom Jones team for a wild night at the Hollywood Bowl

Not all of the significant voices of pop music from the 1960s are hunkered down in the Coachella Valley this week for Desert Trip, and two of them got together Thursday the Hollywood Bowl to demonstrate the veracity of the Who’s songwriter Pete Townshend’s observation that “It’s the singer, not the song, that makes the music move along.”

Van Morrison and Tom Jones, two of the most revered singers to emerge at the same time Desert Trip’s six headliners were starting out packed the Bowl for a chance to see them share a stage. Share they did, both during Jones’ opening set and again after Morrison and his band took over to finish the three hour-plus evening.

Morrison just turned 71, putting him slightly on the younger side of the average age of 72 for Desert Trip’s big guns: Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, the Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters. Jones, now 76, is a bit on the other side of that mathematical equation, but both demonstrated that the passing of years doesn’t have to equate with diminishing of musical acumen.

Over the last five years, Welsh singer Jones has put out three of the finest albums of his long career — “Praise and Blame,” “Spirit in the Room” and last year’s “Long Lost Suitcase” — in which he mines the blues, R&B, gospel and folk influences that have always been lurking beneath the polished pop music he made for much of that career.

Morrison too on his just-released album, “Keep Me Singing,” builds on similar blues, jazz and soul elements that have long infused his music, that has put him on a par through his life with rock’s greatest songwriters and made him the envy of many of them for interpretive skills as a vocalist that put him in the company of Ray Charles and other great soul singers.

That gave them a great reason, not just an excuse, to join forces for this one intersection of their respective current U.S. tours.

Over the last five years, Welsh singer Jones has put out three of the finest albums of his long career — “Praise and Blame,” “Spirit in the Room” and last year’s “Long Lost Suitcase” — in which he mines the blues, R&B, gospel and folk influences that have always been lurking beneath the polished pop music he made for much of that career.

Morrison too on his just-released album, “Keep Me Singing,” builds on similar blues, jazz and soul elements that have long infused his music, that has put him on a par through his life with rock’s greatest songwriters and made him the envy of many of them for interpretive skills as a vocalist that put him in the company of Ray Charles and other great soul singers.

That gave them a great reason, not just an excuse, to join forces for this one intersection of their respective current U.S. tours.

Article written by Randy Lewis for The LA TIMES

Article available online here

You may also like ...

2

  1. I got to see you in Tulsa ,Oklahoma when you were there..it might have took me 40 years 🙂 but i did it and it was amazing was all set to see you again @ river Spirit in Tulsa when i got the text your shows had been cancelled…take a good rest…mend …get well soon and hope to see you again

  2. This was one of the finest shows I’ve ever seen at the Hollywood Bowl.
    Tom and Van….two geniuses of modern song and performance! Tower Of Song was nothing short of incredible, Van jamming with Tom on tunes like Bring It On Home To Me, and Tom returning later with Van to knock out three more bluesy rockers, it was a great evening of music.

    If either of these gentlemen ever get near your town, please go, it’s worth its weight in gold!

    Joe Reagoso

Leave a Reply