Jim & Jean

Changes

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The husband-and-wife team of Jim Glover (guitar/vocals) and Jean Ray (vocals) cut three long-players in the mid-'60s, during an era when primarily acoustic-based folk was synthesizing with edgier amplified electric rock. Their second LP, 1966's Changes, noted this juncture as they advanced from the mold established by the likes of Ian & Sylvia and Richard & Mimi FariƱa into a decidedly progressive style. This was similarly reflected in their material, combining several strong sides from Glover flanking some equally adept remakes. Eric Anderson's "Tonight I Need Your Lovin'" is an apt vehicle for demonstrating their charming blend and penchant for delivering decidedly pastoral melodies with undeniable flair. The pair wrap themselves around David Blue's "Strangers in a Strange Land," interpreting the number as a slightly dark yet slinky samba. Additionally, it is one of the two tracks with session instrumentalist Al Kooper (harpsichord/guitar). Phil Ochs -- who provided the liner notes essay on the rear of the LP jacket -- also contributes three tunes. Primary among these is the seven-plus minute "Crucifixion" featuring Harvey Brooks (bass) and Paul Harris (keyboards), both of whom augment Jim & Jean's dual lead vocal. Perhaps the most traditionally folky cover on Changes is the simple and unadorned reading of Bob Dylan's "Lay Down Your Weary Tune," which has more in common with his version than the Byrds' recent reworking. Glover's originals are easily among the best the album has to offer, marked by the opening "Loneliness" and the pop-driven "It's Really Real." They are tailored not only to the artists but to the entire freewheeling liberated mid-'60s ethos. Ray's "One Sure Thing" drives a bit harder, matching if not exceeding the arguably better-known cover from Fairport Convention's 1968 self-titled disc. [In 2004 Collectors' Choice Music issued Changes and the 1968 follow-up, People World, together on a single CD, making them available for the first time in nearly three decades.]

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