The neck of my Guitar
Art Garfunkel Live MUSIC Review

Art Garfunkel


WHILE Paul Simon garners plaudits for his latest album and gently pushes new boundaries through his collaboration with Brian Eno, his former musical foil, Art Garfunkel, the non-songwriter of their fertile partnership, has stuck to an easy-listening path in his less distinguished solo career.

Garfunkel is no creative adventurer. His entire set was a wistful, slighty nervous backward glance, mainly to the Simon and Garfunkel era. The audience were pleased with the wall-to-wall hits and, though his falsetto voice was breathy, occasionally shaky and failed to soar when it should, it still retains that distinctive sweet and vulnerable tone.

The band arrangements were of strictly cocktail lounge standard, suitable at least for Bright Eyes and the tremulous ballad All I Know. Garfunkel does heart-on-sleeve slush very well. The tender Goodnight My Love was worth a slight swoon and his rendition of For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her was as close to sublime as he could muster.

In contrast, the extended Andean intro to El Condor Pasa was rather bizarre, as was the attempt to interpret the chirpy chug and arch sentiments of Mrs Robinson. Stranger still was the sudden appearance on stage of an Art ´Mini-Me´. It quickly transpired that Garfunkel had invited his son James to duet on Cecilia. Garfunkel Jr may look like he gets a regular kicking in the playground, but he has as sweet a set of pipes as his papa.

As Garfunkel was fond of pointing out, he and Simon were reunited for a tour a few years ago after decades of acrimony, but this performance only served to demonstrate that they are creatively further apart than ever.

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