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Driscoll, Julie: 1969

Popular pop diva drops the pop in 1969, recruits a group of musicians to record this record, marries one of them (Keith Tippett). That one-sentence summary of Julie Driscoll's bio brushes over a long career of successes but 1969 was certainly a turning point in her career, in her style of music, and of course, in her domestic life.

To back her up on 1969 Driscoll assembled 16 Cantebury artists - including Elton Dean and a string of past and future Soft Machine members - to back her up on an album that would draw elements from half a dozen genres. This is old fashioned music, an intersection of folk and progressive jazz, and it is driven by Driscoll's own acoustic guitar and an array of wind instruments - including alto sax (played by 2 artists), trombone (played by 2 artists), cornet, oboe, trumpet, and flute.

Mosy of the music is relatively mellow, but some sections - like the jazzy "Leaving It All Behind" build a sound almost reminiscent of the big-band era. "The Choice" is a standout, in which her simple vocal melodies are accompanied by an equally simple acoustic guitar line, punctuated by wonderful flute inserts that contrast with the somewhat somber singing to cause this otherwise linear song to sparkle with character. Probably the most impressive song is "Those That We Love" - with Tippett on piano - which tells the story of Elaine, a beautiful woman who cruelly leaves her suitors in the dust - the message being summed up in the repeated line

Yes it's those that we love who will always forsake us/ and it's those that love us, we will always forget

Driscoll delivers sincere mid-ranged vocals that are gently expressive, and despite the rich mix of musicians and instruments and those Cantebury styled jazzy segments, most songs retain a pleasing folksy atmosphere that gives Driscoll's music a gently sophisticated quality. And as always, the excellent Powell and Byrne team from Eclectic have done such an wonderful remaster and repackaging job that 1969 will have just as much appeal today as it did when it was released ... which ironically was in 1971.

Track Listing:
1. A New Awakening
2. Those That We Love
3. Leaving It All Behind
4. Break-Out
5. The Choice
6. Lullaby
7. Walk Down
8. I Nearly Forgot - But I Went Back

Added: October 7th 2006
Reviewer: Duncan Glenday
Related Link: The Tippetts' Web Site
Hits: 2099
Language: english

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