Reprise Records releases highlights from Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton's
Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton
By 1888 Media
ew York City's premier jazz venue got the blues last April when Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton performed together in Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center for two sold-out hows dedicated to vintage blues. The extraordinary collaboration, billed as Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues, paired these musical virtuosos with members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as they brought to life a repertoire of songs selected by Clapton and arranged by Marsalis.
Reprise Records captures the magic of these unprecedented shows from earlier this year on CD and as a CD/DVD combo that both feature selections taken from the two public concerts (April 8-9), as well a special performance for Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual gala (April 7).
Marsalis, Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and nine-time Grammy Award winner, writes about his collaboration with Clapton, a 19-time Grammy recipient, in the album's liner notes: "...we wanted these concerts to sound like people playing music they know and love, not like a project."
To help them achieve that level of devotion, Marsalis and Clapton were joined on stage by Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Ali Jackson (drums), Marcus Printup (trumpet), Victor Goines (clarinet), Chris Crenshaw (trombone, vocals), Don Vappie (banjo) and Clapton's longtime keyboardist/sideman Chris Stainton. Marsalis says the group combined the sound of an early blues jump-band with the sound of New Orleans jazz to accommodate the integration of guitar/trumpet lead, a combination that gave the musicians the latitude to play different grooves, from the Delta to the Caribbean and beyond.
The band nimbly navigated a diverse set list that touched on different styles, from the four-on-the-floor swing of Louis Armstrong's "Ice Cream" and the southern slow-drag of W.C. Handy's "Joe Turner's Blues" to the traveling blues of "Joliet Bound" and the boogie-woogie jump of "Kidman Blues." After opening the shows with his solo set, Mahal returned to join the band on "Corrine, Corrina" and the New Orleans funeral standard "Just A Closer Walk With Thee."
The one song not selected by Clapton for the show was his own "Layla," which was requested by bassist Henriquez and arranged as a Crescent City dirge to tremendous results. On his review of the performance, David Fricke of Rolling Stone wrote: "In the [song's] instrumental break, Clapton hit a series of stabbing licks lightly crusted with distortion, followed by Marsalis' slow parade of clean hurting peals -- a moving dialogue in lovesickness and blues routes."
WYNTON MARSALIS & ERIC CLAPTON PLAY THE BLUES -- LIVE FROM JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER
CD and DVD Track Listing
1. "Ice Cream"
Bonus Track on DVD-only: "Stagger Lee" by Taj Mahal
Recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, country/pop icon
by Dave Karger in Entertainment Weekly
itting in the kitchen of his spacious Malibu home, Glen Campbell is explaining how golf made him realize how much he loves his day job. "I can get that thing in my hand and I can't hit it every time," he says of his often frustrating trips to the links. "And it really ticks me off. But I can go out there and play guitar."
He can say that again. In a career that's spanned more than 50 years, Campbell has evolved from sought-after session musician to country-pop superstar with hits like "Rhinestone Cowboy," while moonlighting as an actor (1960's True Grit) and a variety-show host (The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour).
Though Campbell -- who lives with Kim, his wife of almost 30 years -- maintains a gentle and sunny disposition, he has trouble answering direct questions or remembering events of the past: Within five minutes of discussing a recent concert at a resort in Biloxi, Miss., he asks Kim, who's sitting nearby, "Was that in Alabama in that big hotel?" Campbell began to notice lapses in his memory while recording Ghost last year. "On a few little things, he got stories confused and his wife would correct him," says Chris Isaak, who contributes vocals and guitar to "In My Arms," the album's most rollicking track. "But if I was going to have to lose a few memories or lose my ability to sing and play, I'd rather be able to sing and play. That voice of his and that guitar of his, those are gifts that nobody has."
Indeed, while he may not be able to remember the word Alzheimer's, Campbell remains a musical perfectionist. "He's a real fanatical guy regarding lyrics and rhythm," says Ghost producer Julian Raymond. "'It's gotta be faster, I don't like that lyric.' He knows what he wants." His soaring tenor and showy guitar licks haven't faded either. "There's a magical thing that happens when he walks on stage," Kim says. "All of a sudden it's like bam, he's Glen Campbell, and it kicks in. I don't know if it's muscle memory, but it's just natural to him." Still, he'll have a teleprompter on tour for those moments when lyrics escape him. "They're not perfect shows," says Kim. "There's a few mess-ups here and there. But he always tells the audience, 'If you do it perfect...'" "They'll want it every time," Glen finishes with a laugh. Perfect has long been an elusive word for Campbell, whose career highs were offset by alcohol abuse and three divorces. But as he prepares to bid his fans farewell, he finally seems at peace. "God gives everybody a chance," he says. "It took me a long time to pick up on that. I've just been blessed -- I don't know what else to say."
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