Van Morrison can do whatever he wants. And does. The singer, now 72 and more formally addressed as Sir Van Morrison, released not one but two albums in the second half of 2017, each a balance of original music and favorites associated with songwriting legends of blues, soul and jazz.
“Roll With the Punches” was released in September and is Morrison’s first full-length studio interpretation of the blues. With help from guitarist Jeff Beck, Morrison takes on T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday” and “Mean Old World,” Bo Diddley’s “I Can Tell,” Mose Allison’s “Benediction” and an inspired take on Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “How Far From God.”
The album arrived to a wave of critical praise that Morrison had no use for.
“The thing about the blues is you don't dissect it — you just do it,” he said in a statement about the album.
In December, Morrison swerved in another direction on “Versatile,” a roundup of jazz standards including George and Ira Gershwin's “A Foggy Day” and “They Can't Take That Away From Me”; Cole Porter's “I Get a Kick Out of You”; “The Party's Over” by Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Jule Styne; and the Frank Loesser-Jimmy McHugh groove “Let's Get Lost.”
Each album includes moments of magic from Morrison, and he leaned on these albums in a handful of concerts to close 2017. With two shows in Miami’s James L. Knight Center, at least one audience should get to hear his rollicking “How Far From God.” Lucky them.
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 7-8
Where: James L Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami
Contact: 800-745-3000, Ticketmaster.com