All Precious Gifts (Tambourine Man Records TMR-183/184)
Zepp Osaka, Osaka, Japan – March 15th, 2010
Disc 1 (75:12): Intro., Watching The River Flow, Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, High Water (For Charley Patton), The Levee’s Gonna Break, Tryin’ To Get To Heaven, Cold Irons Bound, Desolation Row, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Man In The Long Black Coat, Highway 61 Revisited
Disc 2 (79:27): Spirit On The Water, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Like A Rolling Stone, Jolene, All Along The Watchtower. Bonus tracks, Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan – March 23rd, 2010: It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Forgetful Heart, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, John Brown, Under The Red Sky, Shelter From The Storm
Bob Dylan played five concerts in Osaka to start his two week visit to Japan. All Precious Gifts documents the fourth, played after a one night break in the engagement. It is sourced from excellent DAT audience recording. This is part of a series of titles released by Tambourine Man Records documenting the Japan dates.
Dylan rarely plays multiple nights in one city, but in Japan he spent several days in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. It has been almost a decade since he toured Japan (since March ’01) and three full studio albums have been released in the interim.
But despite that, this show in Osaka lacks much new material but rather focuses upon the classics starting with “Watching The River Flow.” It’s a bit slow but things pick up with the next song. Bob sings center stage for “Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)” with an arrangement that emphasizes a melody played on the harp.
Reviewers point out the power of “High Water” in this evening. The banjo melody sounds quite heavier and more percussive than usual lending it a very powerful quality. “The Levee’s Gonna Break” is also energetic and, reports eyewitness, Bob and band are laughing in stitches at the song’s finale.
“Cold Irons Bound” is played in the hard rock arrangement introduced several years ago as is “Man In The Long Black Coat.” The show closes with “Ballad Of A Thinman.” During the band introductions Stu Kimball is given a guitar by someone in the audience. The kid who gave the gift is described as being a groovy looking deadhead who has a friend who owns a guitar shop in Tokyo. The guitar looked like a Fender Thinline reissue.
“Okay, somebody gave Stu a guitar” Bob says and jokes “I’m going to take this with me.” It’s a warm moment in front of a very appreciative crowd there to see the legend.
The bonus tracks are taken from the March 23rd Tokyo show, also sourced from an excellent DAT audience recording. Only one song, “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again,” is duplicated from the Osaka show. What this fragment has are very good versions of “John Brown” and a Japan favorite “Under The Red Sky.”
All Precious Gifts is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with glossy paper inserts with photos from the tour. It’s a release worth having from a rare tour of Japan for Bob Dylan. There are several competing versions of this show, but the others are on CDR titles. TMR is the only silver pressed release of this show.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)