his iconic career, Willie Nelson has shared stages and
recording studios with many. His collaborations are
renowned. And, along the way, he’s anchored memorable
partnerships and music. Who can forget Willie and Waylon?
There was Willie and Merle. And what about The Highwaymen?
His acclaimed and classic Across the Borderline,
released in 1993, with guests Bob Dylan, Sinéad
O'Connor, David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt and Paul Simon is a
recorded witness to a sharing nature.
Now with Two Men
With The Blues, the Redheaded Stranger pairs with
prominent jazz performer Wynton Marsalis. It’s an
interesting genre contrast. And, to my weathered ears, it
cherished country music outlaw, Farm Aid activist, author
and actor, has an envied career. The former disc jockey and
encyclopedia salesman from Abbott, Texas, whose personal
life has seen him marry five times and father nine children,
has little to prove. There’s always been the music, well
over 80 albums, the hits and misses, the constant touring
and the countless awards, nods and recognitions.
Now on this album,
recorded over January 12 and 13, 2007 at the Lincoln Center,
New York, NY, Willie gets his bluesy and jazzed thang
happenin’ with Wynton Marsalis. Together, they make music
sure to appeal to those who like to listen rather than
dance. It’s late night music. It’s music for pondering. It’s
music for reflection. It’s music made for a balloon glass of
vintage red and time to spend.
labeled as the most outstanding jazz musician and trumpeter
of his generation, joins Willie in a soulful and thoughtful
playing of some memorable and polished tunes.
The album opens with
“Bright Lights Big City”. Willie’s light and easy drawl,
perfect for this kind of arrangement, sets the tone and pace
of this album. Tracks like the dreamy “Night Life”, the jump
and jive of “Caldonia”, and the Hoagy Carmichael co-writes
“Stardust” and “Georgia On My Mind” reinforce it. Listen out
also for the horn-driven and guitar middle on “My Bucket’s
Got A Hole In It” – a tune that has Willie and Wynton
trading lines and licks in fine form.
While Willie and
Wynton claim the attention and adulation, mention needs to
be made of the band. These stellar musicians – Walter
Blanding (saxophone), Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez
(bass), Ali Jackson (drums) and long-time Nelson band member
Mickey Raphael (Harmonica) – all add skilful class to this
If you like your
music mellow, easy, unrushed, sassy and joyous, then these
two men with the blues will be to your liking.
It’s out now on Blue
Note Records. A DVD is also available.
01. Bright Lights,
02. Night Life
05. Basin Street Blues
06. Georgia On My Mind
07. Rainy Day Blues
08. My Bucket’s Got a Hole In it
09. Ain’t Nobody’s Business
10. That’s All
Click the pic to order from Amazon.com.