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Sir Van Morrison is possibly the world's last great soul legend with an outstanding voice and back catalogue

letter of the day: unfair review

Having listened affectionately to Ralph McClean's interview with Sir Van Morrison, I was pleasantly surprised by Charlie Clissitt's review of his work in the Belfast Telegraph (Sept 3).

In reply to Charlie Clissitt's uphill struggle to accumulate a Morrison collection and to enthuse the younger generation about his work, perhaps we should shed a light on a couple of things.

Sir Van is probably like a lot us - a complex person of contradictions, but who appears to have accepted himself and others - and he comes across as a quite humble and grounded individual.

A recent series of interviews on BBC Radio Two spelled out how central Van is to the blues world and his influence on the black music scene, and the high regard he is held with there is also worthy of note.

Moreover I think Charlie's acknowledgement that Van is the best white soul singer is true. Following the demise of blues and soul legends like John Lee Hooker and James Brown, it may be true to say Van is the man carrying the torch for this musical tradition today.

I don't think his music falls into the easy listening category, as the author suggests, but rather reflects his unique improvisations of a lifetime in music which are constantly pushing the boundaries of this genre. Indeed, I went to a great gig in Lisburn a couple of years ago and it was a full on jazz and blues night.

What I'm trying to say is, music is Van's calling, and Keep Me Singing is his prayer and his love for the rest of us. As well as a really good album with great songs - it is his communication and communion in this human spiritual endeavour.

Brian McCullough

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