New Music For Old People: Nilsson, Tim Buckley, Amy Winehouse

Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

1. “Without Her” — Nilsson

This was Harry’s first hit single and it was current when we were planning the album. I really wanted to cover this but I had to find an angle ’cause this version you didn’t wanna compete with. So I came up with a bossa nova arrangement which was miles away from the original and had wonderful solos by Brecker, Lipsius and John Simon on piano. I didn’t even play on our version — just sang.

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2. “Morning Glory” — Tim Buckley

Steve Katz and I both liked this Buckley cover so I whipped off a horny arrangement for Steve to sing to. Also Jim Fielder was in Buckley’s original band. That helped. This is a great version and if you’ve never heard it, you’re gonna like it. Steve and I did.

3. “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” — Amy Winehouse

This appeared on YouTube a couple of years ago and just ripped my head open. Damn — she was great! I also love the fact that she didn’t change the lyric gender. Other women who recorded it (Carmen McRae, Dakota Staton, Cold Blood) all took the female side. NOT AMY. I have included the video because it’s so good. Other than, of course, Donny Hathaway and on YouTube there’s a Stevie Wonder (!) version, Amy is up there in the top three. What a talent! I remember writing this song in my apartment in the Village at 140 Waverly Place in 1967. I was really happy when I finished it ’cause it was hard to write. It’s now become my largest earning song largely because of the Hathaway version.

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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