Tuesday, 3 April 2012


Composition is the latest edition of Your Heart Out, and it can be downloaded here as a PDF free for all.  This issue takes as its starting point a sequence of LPs Janis Ian made in the mid-‘70s and their wider context and connections.  Musically this sequence frequently has the melodic invention and warm intimacy of the finest easy listening/adult contemporary sounds, but the songs never seem too smooth or self-absorbed, overly polished or plush.  There is a bit of an edge, an air of mischief, a suggestion of spikiness, a bit of bite.  She never gets too mystical, too ethereal, too wispy.  She is more earthy and argumentative than many of her contemporaries.  That may be part of the appeal.  In Janis’ case, it’s fascinating to look at her background, experiences, environment, influences, interests, attitude and approach.  It’s also revealing to look at her associates, the people she has worked with, by design or by accident, their connections, their significance.  So this issue flits back and forth through Janis’ career, and takes in a cast of characters including Shadow Morton, Brooks Arthur, Richard Davis and Charlie Calello.  

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