Albums featuring the truly legendary Wizz Jones seem to be like those proverbial London buses - you wait ages and then two or more turn up at once or in very short succession. Last year there was About Time with Ralph McTell, then Joint Control with John Renbourn, and now this year there's Come What May, which reunites Wizz with his long-time friend and fellow acoustic guitar innovator Pete Berryman, the two being further helped out by Wizz's son Simeon who brings his really special sax, flute and harmonica artistry to the textures of the songs.
Come What May takes us on an unhurried, relaxed grand tour of songs from folk, blues, jazz and beyond, right across the gamut of the men's repertoires. Their stylish, easygoing and thoroughly assured musicianship indicates they have nothing to prove as they move so naturally from originals by both Wizz and Pete and works by contemporary folk songwriters through to 30s/40s musicals (opening track You're Blasé) and finally a deft cover of Albatross. The musicians show impeccable taste and true togetherness whatever the idiom - this is the result of many years of playing together without a doubt, and symbolic of the unstinting quality of their inspirational musicianship on all counts.
Virtually every track is a standout in its own way, but those I enjoyed most include a "timely" revisit of See How The Time Is Flying by Alan Tunbridge (that one first appeared on Wizz's classic Village Thing album The Legendary Me back in 1970); a rolling country-blues take on Dave Sudbury's King Of Rome; and the disc's affectionate title song (written by Pete as a letter to his daughter - this is one of two tracks to feature harmony vocal from Anne Sumner). Pick of Wizz's own compositions is probably the beautifully lazy lyrical Poacher's Moon, while Pete's tender A Red Paper Rose is authentically imagined in the form of a paraphrase of St. James' Infirmary Blues. The "musical family" feel of the album is accentuated when Simeon's son Alfie brings his own guitar to the party for a cover of Bert Jansch's Moonshine. Wizz's own brilliant knack of making a song his own is illustrated par excellence on his take on Jez Lowe's The New Moon's Arms (lovely flute solo from Simeon too by the way) and the wonderful setting of Fran Landesman's poem Ballad Of The Sad Young Men that Davy Graham once recorded.
I shouldn't need to say that this album contains some of the most masterly guitar playing you're ever likely to hear, the two major players so utterly different yet so very complementary in style and playing with maximum respect. Strongly self-recommending, in other words, and ideal for continuous and regular home replay.
|Elliott Morris: Lost And Found||Principal Edwards Magic Theatre: The Works 1969-1971|
The Fatea Showcase Sessions are a series of downloads featuring acts that we've really enjoyed and think that more people should get the chance to hear.
Click Here to get the latest session