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Jonathan WilsonAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Price: $14.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Desert Raven


“Gentle Spirit” is not simply the name of the debut solo album by songwriter/musician/producer, Jonathan Wilson, it represents the ethos of the artist himself. Warm, supple melodies etched in layers of stringed instruments and willowy organ motifs accompany his earnest, North Carolinian drawl as he tells tales of humane values lost and found.

Wilson’s music is steeped ... Read more in Amazon's Jonathan Wilson Store

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Fanfare + Gentle Spirit + Morning Phase
Price for all three: $33.73

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Downtown
  • ASIN: B00EIEPF90
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,911 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

2013 sophomore album from the singer/songwriter, a grandiose and highly ambitious production that builds upon the success of his Bella Union debut. Hailed as updating the classic Laurel Canyon sound, in reality Jonathan Wilson is a far more complex, idiosyncratic entity. Sure, there are shades of that pastoral early 70s sound and even Psychedelia, but the West Coast artist seems to continually play between influence and identity, tradition and possibility. Featuring contributions from Graham Nash, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Josh Tillman (AKA Father John Misty), Wilco's Patrick Sansone, Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith and more, Fanfare certainly reaches for a lush sound.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan Wilson - Fanfare heralds an American Beauty October 15, 2013
Format:Audio CD
Jonathan Wilson has been very industrious of late not least producing tracks on the epic new album by Roy Harper "Man & Myth". He must be an expert on time management since this new album "Fanfare" is a long 13 track double like his last album 2011's "Gentle Spirit". That was a very personal outing with a Laurel Canyon vibe that produced a mix of sheer brilliance but also some songs which slipped badly into seventies pastiche. "Fanfare" addresses these issues and is the fully-fledged complete American beauty that Wilson has been threatening to make standing easily as one of the best of 2013.

The songs are stronger, the production is tighter plus the musical feast on offer far more tasty and lavish. It starts with the superb seven minute title track. This is classic songwriting, echoing the vibe contained on Dennis Wilson's masterpiece "Pacific Ocean Blue". It is a multi layered mini epic with Wilson hushed vocals playing out over soft piano, dramatic orchestration and even some free form jazz. Next up "Dear Friend" shows that Wilson has profitably studied Pink Floyd with the reverb laden guitar solo half way through partly hewn from "Mount Gilmour". The great thing about Wilson however is whilst not disguising his influences he does not become overwhelmed by them. Guesting on the album are luminaries like Josh Tillman, Jackson Browne, Graham Nash and David Crosby. It is easy to imagine the latter in his prime covering the complex acoustics of "Her hair is growing long". Other songs like "Future Vision" echo John Lennon and the straightforward "Love to Love" recalls the Eagles. Standouts are many.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
When the title track on Jonathan Wilson’s Fanfare (2013) bursts forth with big, reverbed drums, symphonic strings, and flute accents, it might have you wondering whether you accidentally queued up a different Wilson, say, Brian or Dennis. It’s far from the last time you’ll find yourself hearing echoes of rock’s Golden Era in the next seventy-eight minutes – heck, by the end of “Fanfare” itself ELO seem to have taken over the studio.

The guest list should give you an idea of the sound that Wilson is trying for: Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, Jackson Browne, David Crosby, and Graham Nash all feature, in addition to Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Patrick Sansone (Wilco), and Josh Tillman (“Father John Misty,” Fleet Foxes). Crosby & Nash are particularly important here, and by extension Stephen Stills and Neil Young, since it is the harmony-drenched folk-rock of Déjà Vu and contemporaneous records by CSNY’s constituent parts that provide Fanfare’s foundation. Add to that some Pink Floyd spaciness, George Harrison slide guitar solos, “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys”-style jazz-rock interludes, and a cover of psychedelic pioneers Sopwith Camel’s “Fazon,” pump it all up to epic scale (these thirteen songs average six minutes apiece), and you’ve got one of the richest albums of the past decade.

On the one hand, it’s a joy and a pleasure to hear a record like Fanfare released in the 2010s. On the other hand, much of the joy and pleasure I derive from this album comes from contemplating its influences. And sometimes those influences are blatant, as when a funky break on the Lennon-esque “Lovestrong” turns into all-but-plagiarism of “Echoes,” or when the haunting, “Guinnevere”-like “Cecil Taylor” suddenly features two-thirds of CSN.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to beat modern roots/indie/psychedellic October 28, 2013
By Brian
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a great mix of lush, harmony driven psychedelic roots (early 70's Laurel Canyon style) and indie folk/rock from today. If you were at all fan of his last (Gentle Spirit), his newest is a great step forward.

The guitar playing is the hidden ingredient - never up front or in your face, but there are plenty of spirited and intense solos/fills to add balance and counterpoint to the rich vocals. Some nice guests add to the vocal harmonies (David Crosby,Jackson Browne) and there is even a Neil and Crazy Horse sounding cut that works and is the most jagged song on the CD. The music is not dated or obviously-retro, yet it sounds like a lost gem from the 70's (but still retains a modern edge and intensity).

This is a perfect late night drive or chilling in the wilderness music. Play all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid second album May 21, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting evolution in Jonathan's sound. I prefer his "Gentle Spirit" album. However this one does not disappoint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous December 21, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Beautiful music, it seems you can understand where this person is coming from. The more you listen, the more you can tell the songwriter is a highly conscious human. Feels like a great vibe in my house when played.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a treat June 5, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There's nothing in this CD that hasn't been done before. That being said, no one has ever pacakaged it together like this before. What do you get with this CD? An amalgam of all of the best parts of psychadelia blended with California rock. You can hear Spirt, the Grateful Dead bits of (Aoxomoxoa and Terrapin Station), CSN/Buffalo Springfield, and lots of Pink Floyd. "Love to Love" could be off of Ryan Adams' most recent CD, and is the only misfire - not because it isn't good, but because it doesn't fit the vibe of the rest of the CD.

What makes this mix of styles great is the consistent and masteful production. It sounds great and modern, but the songs could have been lifted from any time over the past 40 years - and the songs are GOOD! Wilson also plays most of the CD all by himself, like Todd Rundgren or Paul McCartney can do. There are some high-powered guests, though - you get David Crosby and Graham Nash doing harmonies on "Cecil Taylor", and a Benmont Tench (keyboardist for Tom Petty) shows up and jams.

A great CD, easily my favorite of 2014 so far, and I can't wait to listen to this outside on a warm, muggy summer night watching the stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Keeps Playing Those Mind Games
There is a subtle distinction between inspired by, imitation and ripping people off. Led Zeppelin got away with it by making other other people tunes emphatically their own, while... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Gail A
5.0 out of 5 stars always fun to "find" a new favorite
This album has been a real treat. I happened to hear a cut from this album on XM radio and tracked it down on Amazon. Really a great album. Read more
Published 3 months ago by J. M. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt Rock album, by a fan, for the fans.
There is an awful lot to like about Jonathon Wilson. He is so into the music, and the sound, and the history. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Antony D. O'dowd
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Worth Listening to!
I have always enjoyed music in the American lineage of the Byrds and CSN&Y. This is one. The fact that David Crosby and Graham Nash contribute is a major plus. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Ron Farren
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
Spellbinding, evocative, eclectic…the man is a genius. I love this CD and I could listen to it over and over.
Published 6 months ago by M. Fusaro
5.0 out of 5 stars Goes Big AND Goes Home
On the follow-up to 2011's brilliant Gentle Spirit, Wilson goes big AND goes home to a rich tapestry of sounds inspired by what must be a mother of a record collection. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jeremy Shatan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This is a fantastic record. I read about Jonathan Wilson in Relix & then of course noticed his collaborations with Bob Weir at TRI. The guy has it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by H Whitt Bell
2.0 out of 5 stars It's Not Polite to Hate!
That is the only reason I gave this CD two stars. I fail to understand the hype about Jonathan Wilson. His music is both derivative and unoriginal...pompous and self-indulgent. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steven G. Mednick
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic.
This album is an epic hippie masterpiece.

Each listen reveals new, brilliant subtleties that compel me to keep thinking about the music long after the album's ended. Read more
Published 8 months ago by John
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