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Love Everlasting - The Very Best of Jon Lucien

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Album Review

Leave it the Europeans to mine American recordings for the absolute best an artist has to offer; slap it all together with copious notes, awesome sound quality, and a few unreleased tracks; and put it out on the market for Amerikanskis to drool over at an exorbitant price. I'm not complaining; this is justified whenever Americans fail to recognize genius in their own midst (the rediscovery by a Brit clubber of Terry Callier, a very vital artist ignored in America for three decades, has him back on the circuit now). Jon Lucien is a case in point; though he was born and raised in the Caribbean, virtually every one of his recordings was made in the United States. He enjoyed some fanfare in the early '70s for his truly moving original tunes that combined Yankee and Caribbean folk forms with jazz and soul, and for his delicate, airy, and impressionistic interpretations of jazz and pop standards. Compiled and annotated by Dean Johnson, this set goes against the grain of conventional wisdom when it comes to Lucien. It relies heavily on the dancefloor favorites of the U.K. and Euro underground — which is cool with me — and includes ballads and a few covers that have Lucien's left-field approach to "classic" pop. The dancefloor kickers include the relentless Afro-Cuban/soul fusion tunes, such as "A Sunny Day" and "Listen Love," "Would You Believe in Me," "Who Will Buy," and more. The ballads are represented by "Lady Love," "Dindi," and of course, "Rashida," as well as his hits "When I Look in Your Eyes" and "Find Yourself a Lover." Also included are the Latin jazz-inspired "Black Flower" and the killer groove-laden "Follow Your Heart." As for unreleased tracks, how about uncanny and wildly original readings of "My Cherie Amour" and "The Sound of Music"? Yes indeed. There are 20 tracks in all, not a weak one in the bunch, and as a compilation this one does its job superbly by offering the vast range and depth of Lucien's talent. For newcomers this is essential; for those who have all the vinyl, you have to get it because of the four unreleased tracks and alternate versions. Anyway you cut it, the Europeans have done it again and showed Americans their folly.


Born: 08 January 1942 in Tortola, British Virgin Islands

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '90s, '00s

Dubbed "the man with the golden throat" by Herbie Hancock, Jon Lucien was the premier crooner of the fusion era -- blessed with a deep, velvety voice ideally matched to romantic ballads, his sophisticated amalgam of soul, light jazz, and Caribbean rhythms never enjoyed commercial success commensurate with the esteem afforded him by critics and peers alike. Born Lucien Harrigan on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands on January 8, 1942, he grew up on the neighboring island of St. Thomas. An ardent...
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Love Everlasting - The Very Best of Jon Lucien, Jon Lucien
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