Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis- Stardust


Anyone's who's attended a Willie Nelson concert in the last twenty years knows that the country legend loves to unleash mean Django Reinhardt-influenced guitar solos.

And anyone's who's purchased a ticket to even the stuffiest of Wynton Marsalis' jazz gigs knows that the trumpeter likes to conclude his shows with loose, informal romps.

So while the partnership of Two Men With the Blues may strike casual observers or genre elitists as odd, it's actually completely natural. Nor is it surprising that the two men find common ground in the blues.

The collaboration, recorded over two nights at the Allen Room at Jazz At Lincoln Center in 2007, feels like a relaxed, after hours session. "Stardust" is typical. Framed by Dan Nimmer's piano, Nelson's wistful vocal, Walter Blanding's smoky sax and Marsalis' masterful solo meld perfectly.

Don't let the fact that Two Men With the Blues ideally suits There Stands the Glass' sensibility scare you off. In fact, the project should be considered an automatic favorite for multiple Grammy awards.

Here's a bold statement guaranteed to make both Nelson and Marsalis cringe- Two Men With the Blues may prove to be the best non-hip hop album of 2008.

Additional information about the project is available at

My recap of last week's Warped Tour stop in Bonner Springs, Kansas, is here. Katy Perry fans in particular won't want to miss it.

Kansas City Click: I hope British blues cat Scott McKeon makes it to tonight's gig at at Knuckleheads. He mistakenly lists the Missouri juke joint's location as "Kansas (USA)" at his MySpace page.


bgo said...

I want to hear this.

It is no secret that Wynton and Miles had issues with one another. It is also no secret that Willie and Miles became friends. In fact Miles wrote a tune called Willie Nelson.

My dream recording was to have Miles and Willie record together. Just the two of them. Willie on vocals and guitar and Miles with his muted trumpet.

I guess this is the closest thing we'll get.

Happy In Bag said...

Even though I've rolled my eyes at his most strident pronouncements, I've always been down with Wynton's music. And listen to his solo on Stardust again- it's funny, soulful and completely engaging.

bgo said...

Wynton is simply amazing and I knew that years ago when he was just a kid playing with The Jazz Messengers.

He is still young but plays like an elder statesman.

And yes, his playing is anything but sterile.

This proves that white men (and women) can play and sing the blues along with...nevermind...I think you know what I am getting at.

Don't Need Anything said...

i gave the album a listen today and it is wonderful. its one of the rare albums where i was disappointed when it ended.
wynton does play a little heavy handed in some places (namely on "night life" which is kind of a delicate song) but i cant complain one bit about this album.

Happy In Bag said...

Thanks for checking in, DNA. I anticipate enjoying this album for the remainder of my life.

Unknown said...