Gentle Spirit by Jonathan Wilson was one of my favourite albums of 2011. Indeed, it was Mojo Magazine's Album of the Year. Gentle Spirit is a sprawling album steeped in the sounds of 1970s Laurel Canyon loveliness. Jonathan has built his own recording studio (he's also a producer of some renown) and has filled it with vintage recording equipment to help him 'summon the spirit' of the recorded works of the 70s west Coast heyday.
Since 2011 we (the fans of JW) have been waiting in anticipation of the next opus. At the beginning of the year, news began to circulate of a new album coming together. And even more exciting was that one of the major influences was Dennis Wilson's masterpiece Pacific Ocean Blue.
When Fanfare actually arrived it was SO much more than an homage to Pacific Ocean Blue. JW has again used his vintage studio to create an album of breadth and creativity. There are so many influences on the album but POB is definitely one as shown in the opening title track.
Vinyl is the preferred option for listening to Fanfare as JW has stated it was produced and mastered especially with vinyl in mind. Having copies of both vinyl and CD myself, I can attest to that.
Being a bit of a guitar virtuoso, JW uses his guitar to good effect throughout the album, as shown in the first single, Dear Friend.
JW's vocals have been pushed much further up in the mix for this album and the harmonies on many of the songs are just sublime. But with the addition of David Crosby, Graham Nash and Jackson Browne, we would expect nothing less.
You will find references to Dennis Wilson, Jackson Browne, CSNY, Pink Floyd and many others on Fanfare. JW hired a Steinway Grand piano for the album and he's certainly got his money's worth from it's use.
There is such a scope to this album that it feels wrong just to pick out tracks but it does give you a flavour of what to expect.
In fact, you can hear the whole album & Gentle Spirit by clicking the link below.
My favourite track is Moses Pain.
I don't want to say to much as I want you to find the music for yourself. but my advice is, Just Buy It - on vinyl if you have a turntable :)
Twitter - @songsofjw