Man in the Moon is one of the most satisfying and beautiful discs by singer/songwriter Jonathan Edwards in a history filled with such work. The title track is simply amazing in its subtlety, but every track on this disc has a presence and deep emotion. The opening track, "Stay Down," is like an up-tempo take on Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer," and it drives with Gary Burke from the Joe Jackson Group on drums and Duke Levine on guitar. The song was used for the credit roll of the film The Mouse, for which Edwards did the soundtrack. The singer/songwriter has anecdotes about each tune printed beneath the lyrics in the generous ten-page booklet that comes with the CD and, historically, those liner notes are almost as important as the music. "Slave for Love" is a tune Willie Dixon co-wrote and wanted Edwards to cover -- they performed on a show together in Boston during the late '60s, and three decades later the song finds its release here. It is tremendous, but so is Edwards' own "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" and keyboardist Kenny White's "To Me," which sounds like an Edwards original. Burke's drums are as lovely as ever, Hugh McDonald's bass is right on, and -- with Levine, Michael Aharon, and Al Pettiway -- the band combines to forge a really impressive sound, a natural progression from what Edwards was doing with Orphan years earlier. Monica Cohen's cover art matches the music inside, and though label Rising Records seems to have gone the way of all flesh, the material can still be found at www.jonathanedwards.net. Cheryl Wheeler's "Howl at the Moon" is covered here, and Edwards' own "Break Out of the Blue" is just stunning. Some great artists put out albums with highs and lows; songwriter David Pomeranz' It's in Everyone of Us comes to mind as a work of genius with inevitable filler. Edwards' Man in the Moon contains no flaws, and must be viewed as a favorite among his many discs even if not considered his best album by the general record-buying public. Man in the Moon is a major effort that deserves massive exposure.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione