Jonathan and Leigh

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The obscure male-female folk-rock duo Jonathan and Leigh recorded one album for Vanguard, Third and Main, released in 1967. Songwriter Jonathan Alden and his partner Leigh (no last name given on the sleeve)…
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The obscure male-female folk-rock duo Jonathan and Leigh recorded one album for Vanguard, Third and Main, released in 1967. Songwriter Jonathan Alden and his partner Leigh (no last name given on the sleeve) echoed contemporary folk-rock male-female acts such as Richard & Mimi Farina, Ian & Sylvia, Jim & Jean, and the We Five. Their material was inferior to most of what those aforementioned artists had to offer, and their vocal and instrumental execution not as strong. Perhaps it's just that their presence on the Vanguard label ensured some similarity, but the arrangements also recalled, if rather faintly, those heard on the Vanguard releases by the Farinas, Ian & Sylvia, and Eric Andersen. Among the supporting musicians were Russ Savakus (who had played bass on several Ian & Sylvia and Farinas albums), bassist Richard Davis, and guitarist Jay Berliner (both of whom would play on Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, and the rhythm section of Warren Smith (drums) and William Salter (bass), who would play on several albums by Pearls Before Swine. Smith also played on Astral Weeks, although the presence of three sidemen who also played on that album should not be taken to mean that Jonathan & Leigh sound at all like Van Morrison.

The shaky timekeeping of the electric accompaniment on some of the album's cuts, while somewhat endearing in the early-folk-rock-transitional sense, seems to indicate that the duo might have been rushed through these sessions, or at least not allowed to polish them as much as they could have. For all that, it's a rather likable if slight folk-rock album, recorded perhaps before the duo's skills had reached optimum maturation. Considering it was on the rather high-profile independent folk and folk-rock label Vanguard, it made very little impact, though it's not all that hard to find in the used bins.