Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis
Two Men With the Blues (Blue Note)
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., July 11, 2008
Willie Nelson & Wynton MarsalisTwo Men With the Blues (Blue Note)
Two American music icons, one a genuine country music renegade and the other a tireless, neoconservative champion of jazz, share their love of blues and deep appreciation of American popular songs on this live set, documenting a two-night stand last year at NYC's Jazz at Lincoln Center. Despite the all-too-loose mojo of this one-off engagement, there are moments to savor on the Blues' program of warhorses. Nelson's always been a singer/guitarist with a penchant for jazz phrasing, and it's delightful to hear him on "Night Life" and "Stardust" playing around the beat provided by a flexible combo of Lincoln Center regulars. Trumpeter Marsalis complements beautifully, digging deep into his New Orleans roots with effortlessly swinging, earthy solos. While this summit doesn't offer enough to interest more than the converted, the magnitude of the encounter tends to transcend whatever music is created.