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Van Morrison mixes pop standards, originals on 'Versatile' album due Dec. 1

Van Morrison mixes pop standards, originals on 'Versatile' album due Dec. 1
Van Morrison is releasing his 38th studio album, 'Versatile,' on Dec. 1. (©Jill Furmanovsky)

Promptly on the heels of his latest album, “Roll With the Punches,” released in September, Irish rocker-poet Van Morrison will release yet another studio collection, his 38th, on Dec. 1, when he issues “Versatile,” a session combining material from the Great American Songbook with a half dozen of his own songs.

Morrison takes on pop classics including Cole Porter’s “I Get a Kick Out of You”; George and Ira Gershwin’s “A Foggy Day” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”; Alex North and Hy Zaret’s “Unchained Melody”; and Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn’s “Makin’ Whoopee.”

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Those share space with new originals including “Broken Record” and updated renditions of three songs he’s previously recorded, “I Forgot That Love Existed,” “Only A Dream” and “Start All Over Again.”

The tracks were recorded in various venues predominantly in County Down in his native Northern Ireland.

“Roll With the Punches” consisted of his versions of songs from blues and R&B artists who influenced him, among them Lightnin’ Hopkins, Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, Mose Allison, T Bone Walker and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. It reached No. 4 on the U.K. sales chart upon its release.

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