J.D. SOUTHER > If the World Was You
Label: Slow Curve
Always the romantic’s craftsman, J.D. Souther quietly dropped from sight after 1984′s Home By Dawn and explored his passions-and it is passion that brings him back for this elegant hybrid of sweet songs, erudite writing and jazz minimalism. Not as overtly studied or “be bop” as some of Joni Mitchell’s mid-career explorations, Souther’s Coltranesqueries strike the nuanced intimacy of Mitchell’s best work. The blaring trumpet peels on “House of Pride” are jagged stabs that reinforce the menace, while the slinky “Journey Down The Nile” defines sultry. Still it’s the aw-shucks “I’ll Be Here At Closing Time” and “In My Arms Tonight” that offers the warmth inside the ardor. Add in the humid Latin tinges, the brass filigree and the languid confession of tentativeness “The Border Guard,” and it is a bold new day for a classic singer-songwriter.