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  Listen Up! 6/20/03 Listen Up!

Friday, June 20

Townes Van Zandt, “High, Low and In Between,” EMI Records. The man couldn’t sing, but he could write. Many of the songs on here are familiar to fans of Texas-influenced singer-songwriters, since they’ve been covered by lots of other artists, most notably Jimmie Dale Gilmore with “No Lonesome Tune.” Van Zandt’s ragged delivery is heart-felt all the time, but I always wind up preferring the covers. Still, this 1996 package collates the original “High, Low and In Between” album with the presciently named “The Late, Great Townes Van Zandt.” Back in the 70s, when these were recorded, he hadn’t sunk to the depths of alcoholism he would reach before he finally died a few years ago, and there is an innocence, a sense of possibility, that his later music lost.

Miles Davis, “At Newport 1958,” Columbia Records. You can’t argue with live Miles Davis leading his great “Kind of Blue” sextet. Well, I can argue that this CD flew by before I knew it, but that’s more a function of me being busy doing stuff without paying close attention. I’ll tell you this much. It’s every bit as great as you obviously know it must be.

--Steve Pick

For more columns by Steve Pick click here



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