You’re Driving Me Crazy is the third album Van Morrison has released since September of 2017, when he delivered the hard-charging blues of Roll With the Punches. In December, he put out Versatile, an amiable collection grounded by standards that found him moving toward jazz. Morrison’s newest release delves even deeper into the genre, pairing the 1960s legend with jazz organist, composer, and bandleader Joey DeFrancesco.
The album’s jazz-centered sound revives memories of Morrison’s acclaimed 1968 album Astral Weeks, which featured jazz musicians Connie Kay, Jay Berliner, and Richard Davis. But his latest is a much more muscular organ-based jazz/R&B inflected album.
My thing is not talking about music. It’s about doing it. Other people talk about it, and they make a living talking about it. I make a living kind of singing it and playing it. If it feels right, and it’s the right kind of vibe, then you should just go with it. On this, everything we tried worked, and we did it in two days. It took actually longer to mix it than to record it. In the old days, when I started, that’s how they made records.
All this activity seems to agree with the 73-year-old icon who remains in spirited voice, sounding as vibrant as any time in his extensive history. DeFrancesco and his talented three piece provide an effortless and elegant fit with Van who allows them plenty of room to roam and improvise.
The track list for You’re Driving Me Crazy is as follows:
1. Miss Otis Regrets (Cole Porter)
2. Hold It Right There (Terry, Grey, Vinson)
3. All Saints Day (Van Morrison)
4. The Way Young Lovers Do (Van Morrison)
5. The Things I Used To Do (Eddie Jones)
6. Travellin’ Light (John Mercer, James Mundy, James Young)
7. Close Enough For Jazz (Van Morrison)
8. Goldfish Bowl (Van Morrison)
9. Evening Shadows (Van Morrison / Acker Bilk)
10. Magic Time (Van Morrison)
11. You’re Driving Me Crazy (Walter Donaldson)
12. Everyday I Have The Blues (Peter Chatman)
13. Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison)
14. Sticks And Stones (Titus Turner)
15. Celtic Swing (Van Morrison)
Van Morrison – vocals, saxophone
Joey DeFrancesco – Hammond organ, trumpet
Dan Wilson – guitar
Michael Ode – drums
Troy Roberts – saxophone