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Listen to the Lion

Van Morrison's take on American classics

BluesFest 2013 At The Royal Albert Hall - Day 2

Van Morrison's new album, "Versatile," lives up to its title, a mix of six original songs and 10 chestnuts from the Great American Songbook, including "I Left My Heart My Heart in San Francisco" and Cole Porter's "I Get a Kick Out of You."

Available today, "Versatile" comes less than three months after the September 22 release of "Roll With the Punches," a collection of soul and blues cover songs.

The 72-year-old Irish singer's 38th solo album is stocked with standards like "Unchained Melody," a 1965 hit for the Righteous Brothers, "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Makin' Whoopee." Morrison also covers two gems by George and Ira Gershwin, "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "A Foggy Day."

"Recording songs like these, especially the standards," Morrison says in a statement on his website, "gave me the chance to stretch out vocally and get back to the music that originally inspired me to sing: jazz!"

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