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Jonathan Wilson - Fanfare

December 2013 CD of the Month - Chances are you've come across the work of Jonathan Wilson, even if his name doesn't ring familiar right away. He's been a staple of the revitalized Laurel Canyon music scene out in California. His work as a producer can be heard on records from artists like Dawes, Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, and Father John Misty.
And his credits as a musician run pretty long, from working with Elvis Costello to Erykah Badu to Shooter Jennings. It can all be applauded, but what shouldn't be overlooked is Wilson's own music. The musician/producer/songwriter just released his second solo album and it's one of the most ambitious albums you'll hear this year.

One thing that becomes obvious pretty quickly upon listening to Wilson's new album, Fanfare, is that recording music is a true, obsessive passion. The nuance to both the music and the sound Wilson creates is nothing short of remarkable. It's reliance on space, energy and mood is reminiscent of something you'd expect to hear from a Pink Floyd record, especially on dreamy moments like "Dear Friend" or "Cecil Taylor". And where he stretches into new musical territory often on Fanfare, songs like "Lover to Lover" are reminiscent of Wilson's debut, and also that Laurel Canyon sound that he's helped to engineer over the past few years.

While the genius of this music really is credit to Wilson, it's hard to overlook the cast of musicians that do lend a hand. Where Wilson has been a go-to-guy for so many artists, some of those folks return the favor on Fanfare. Josh Tillman (Father John Misty) and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) are a couple of those people. But keep an ear out for contributions from legendary names like David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Jackson Browne (to name just a few!). They all help round out what is a robust and gorgeous collection.

Review by Mike Vasilikos
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