Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis
Two Men With The Blues - Live
Blue Note Records
www.willienelson.com


Willie Nelson is getting awfully adventurous as he gets on in years. The red headed stranger has always been known for pushing the envelope and trying new things and it seems there is nothing he won't try, no one he won't work with. It was a bit of a shock when news of his latest record with jazz great Wynton Marsalis was leaked, but listening to the record, it seems to make as much sense as anything Willie's ever done. The record was recorded live in winter 2007 at the Lincoln Center in New York

Marsalis mostly puts aside the meandering tone of jazz for most of the album, instead falling back on the great Southern blues tradition; his trumpet playing is phenomenal, as always, and his unique voice is instantly recognizable, but the loose jazz has been shored up and made more easily listenable (for those of us who aren't fans of the meandering jazz sound). The backing band is top notch, featuring Ali Jackson on drums, Carlos Henriquez on bass, and Dan Nimmer on piano. They move through the collection of tunes effortlessly, highlighting the brilliance of Marsalis' performance as well as creating the perfect backing for Willie's smoky clear vocals. The set includes some old standards, such as a lightly swinging version of "Bright Lights, Big City" and a hot, jumping take on "Caldonia". Willie's voice is clearer than it's been in years, it seems, and it sounds as if he's loving the chance to play some of these old blues tunes. The band slows it down and lets Willie croon his way through "Stardust" before getting low for a trip down the "Basin Street Blues", which features a really excellent trumpet solo. Willie sounds even more amazing on the slow balladry of "Georgia On My Mind", his voice shimmering with emotion and purity. The band covers a bit of rockabilly ground with a Dixieland flavor on "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It" before blasting through a fiery version of the jazzy "That's All" to wrap the evening.

The Two Men With The Blues Live performance is also available as a DVD, which I can only imagine would be incredible to watch. While the recording is exceptional, being witness visually to the interplay between these two impressive musicians must be even more amazing. Maybe that'd be a good thing to add to the Christmas wish list.

-Embo Blake

Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!

 


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.