From a time when Van The Man could still step out onto a stage not wearing his trademark hat and dark glasses, this comes from the double live album it's too late to stop now.
Recorded during his San Franciscan residency of the early '70s when Van was at the peak of his vocal powers (released '74, the year also of arguably one of his best studio albums, Veedon Fleece).
To close the show he takes the original acoustic jazzy Cyprus Avenue from his solo debut Astral Weeks, and with the help of his 11-piece Caledonia Soul Orchestra, re-invents it as an impeccable blast of cabaret soul. I especially love the bit when he lets out an astonishing 41 consecutive yelps of "Babe!" with the band doing a unison stab perfectly in time behind each one.
The band are amazing, and feature saxophonist, and long time Van collaborator Jack Schroer as well as pianist/organist Jeff Labes who's arranging talents both have a lot to do with how all those great early Van albums sound.
(click here to buy from Amazon UK)