Yet again I find myself in a state of no words. There are some performances that simply must be sampled and held tight between the tongue and cheek. Not in that way wherein you find something to snicker at, but in that way that allows the juices and salts of the thing seep into the body until there’s nothing left of the human you used to be. Jeff Buckley conjures up such images, sipping slowly on sweet wines and dipping a thumb into the warm familiarity of a lover’s mouth.
His love letter to the place that allowed him his humble footfalls into public consciousness is a marvel in and of itself. It isn’t necessarily planned (though this was scheduled as a recording, Buckley was a master of improvisation and leaping forward on a feeling or hunch). It’s not elegant or anything polished like the stones of the executives that would come to marvel at the young man’s wonder. No. This was a piece of innocence and candour that saw Jeff become one of the most lionized musicians of his and all times. There are a number of songs that managed to creep their way into the trembling sigh of my being; however, his rendition of the now classic theme song from Baghdad Cafe, “Calling You”, is such a sweeping piece of erotic melancholy, I’ve yet to recover from the stain it’s left inside me.
This is magic, pure and simple, a piece of silver in the gritty stone of the world.