Two Men with the Blues – Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis (2008)

September 11, 2008

I am loving this collaboration CD as one of my more recent music purchases. I made the purchase when I saw it in the store because I was curious as to how such two diverse musicians could come together on this project. I have been playing it now for about two weeks and it was a good purchase. I highly recommend it to you the readers.

This music was recorded live from two nights of performances in January 2007 of “Willie Nelson Sings the Blues” at Jazz at Lincoln Center. In addition to the CD track list, according to the promotional video below,  three additional tracks were performed; “Down by the Riverside”, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and Sweet Georgia Brown. I wish they hadn’t left them off of the CD. I am especialy fond of “DBTR.”

I found out that “DBTR” is offered as Bonus Track on iTunes Music Store but I don’t do iTunes. I just hope that someway, somehow I will eventually be able to hear these three missing tunes.

Upon first listen I thought that Wynton’s trumpet playing was too loud in the mix – it was in fact rather jarring. But after repeated listens I guess I got used to it (but I still think that the trumpet is often too loud in the mix).

Other than the “mix” issues, this is a great collection of classic standards/GAS done as a mixture of Country, New Orleans Jazz and Blues styles.  I especially love the harmonica on this CD: I am always a sucker for good piano parts but for some reason the harmonica player just struck me as awesome and really added a lot to the production.

Willie Nelson – vocals and guitar
Wynton Marsalis – trumpet and vocals
Mickey Raphael – harmonica
Walter Blanding – saxophone
Dan Nimmer – piano
Carlos Henriquez – bass
Ali Jackson Jr. – drums

Track list:
01. Bright Lights, Big City – partial performance in the promotional video below.
02. Night Life
03. Caldonia
04. Stardust
05. Basin Street Blues
06. Georgia On My Mind
07. Rainy Day Blues
08. My Bucket’s Got a Hole In it – this is my favorite on the cd. Give it a listen here. 
09. Ain’t Nobody’s Business
10. That’s All – partial performance in the promotional video below.

Now please check out this 2007 promotional video Courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment for the CD before you go off to make your purchase 😉


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