Geoff Muldaur - His Last Letter

 (Limited Edition 2 LP Box Set + Book)


Moon River Music



Product No.:
AMRM 210301
UPC: 978949296147
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Vinyl Box Sets

No. of Discs: 2
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Double LP Box Set and booklet

35-page booklet of liner notes by Muldaur about the artists who influenced his music

His Last Letter (The Amsterdam Project) is Geoff Muldaur's most ambitious project to date; a tour de force in a long line of highly-acclaimed recordings by this venerable musician. Muldaur takes us on a musical journey, collaborating with some of Holland's finest classical and jazz musicians, to present stylish renderings of tunes from the American folk and jazz-blues "song-bag,"

"It all started with Garvin Bushell," writes Geoff Muldaur in the introduction to his new 2LP boxed set, His Last Letter. "One night, when I was a teenager, I made it down to Jimmy Ryan's on 52nd Street to hear the De Paris Brothers. At the time, Ryan's was the last club standing on that famous strip and it featured traditional, New Orleans-style jazz. Bushell was playing clarinet in the band. After a few tunes, Wilbur De Paris called for "St. James Infirmary." Bushell reached back, and placed his clarinet on a stand ... then picked up an odd-looking wooden tube with holes and shiny keys and strapped it on. It was a bassoon. Just to see this was a shock, but to hear it in this context, even more so ... Bushell put the double reed to his mouth and out came the most beautiful tones ... ancient, bucolic sounds like a shepherd calling in the fading light to his beloved stragglers. I was spellbound. It was the perfect choice for the mood of the song; nothing could have sounded better."

Those familiar with Geoff Muldaur may originally know him as part of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band — especially those on the Vineyard where he and the Jug Band played at the Moon-Cusser Coffee House on Circuit Ave. in the 1960s. He would also live on the Island full-time during much of the seventies and the eighties.

It would be a mistake to pigeonhole Muldaur. His journey has taken him from old-timey jug band music to arranging Americana roots music using instruments like clarinet, French horn, and bassoon. He's gone from playing at the Moon-Cusser to recording chamber music with key players from the Netherlands Philharmonic. To look at Geoff Muldaur's career is to see a musician who continues to evolve.

His Last Letter pays homage to the many musicians who influenced Muldaur's life over the years — Duke Ellington, J.B. Lenoir, "Fats" Waller, Don Redman, Jimmie Rodgers, Dock Boggs, Eric von Schmidt, and more. He even provided musical settings for the poetry of Tennessee Williams.

The LP set begins with "Black Horse Blues" by Blind Lemon Jefferson and wends its way through the American musical song bag ... ending with Muldaur's original 20-minute "Octet in Three Movements (His Last Letter)."

The Octet is a touching tribute to Muldaur's great-grandfather who served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy and was killed in 1870 when his ship was rammed and sank in Yokohama harbor. The song in the second movement is based on a love letter sent by Muldaur's great-grandfather to his wife in New Jersey the day before the accident occurred.

Side A
1. Black Horse Blues
2. Betcha I Getcha
3. Michigan Water Blues
4. Lady Of The Lavender Mist
5. The Whale Has Swallowed Me

Side B
1. Boll Weevil Holler
2. The Jitterbug Waltz
3. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You?
4. Gold Tooth Blues
5. Prairie Lullaby

Side C
1. Mistread Mama
2. Come All Your Fair And Tender Ladies
3. The Frog
4. My Little One
5. Heavenly Grass

Side D
1. Octed In Three Movements

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