All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Serving jazz worldwide since 1995
All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

CD/LP/Track Review

Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis, featuring Norah Jones: Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles (2011)

By Published: May 14, 2011
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis, featuring Norah Jones: Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles After the success of Two Men With the Blues (Blue Note, 2008), Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles is a welcome inevitability. The addition of the like-minded Norah Jones
Norah Jones
Norah Jones
b.1979
piano
to the mix is just gravy, properly augmenting a Ray Charles
Ray Charles
Ray Charles
1930 - 2004
piano
tribute.

With the possible exception of Van Morrison
Van Morrison
Van Morrison
b.1945
vocalist
, only Willie Nelson exists as the logical heir to Charles' mantle. Like Charles, Nelson's aptitude has been promiscuous, gobbling up and transforming genres previously not associated with him. Nelson's Stardust (Columbia, 1978) became a classic crossover recording, combining the organic features of country music with the Great American songbook. Now Nelson faces head on one of the most substantial American musical artists.

With vocal duet/sparring partner Jones, Nelson arranges the Charles book into a love affair suite. Such clever programing is a rare commodity today. Hot, cool and gone are the phases marked by "Hallelujah," "I Love You So Much It Hurts," "Cryin' Time" and "Hit The Road Jack." Jones proves Nelson's vocal equal on "Come Rain Or Come Shine" and "Here We Go Again" (the song also dueted with Charles on Genius Loves Company) and delivers a slippery "Makin' Whoopie."

The instrumental side of things is held firmly down by Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
and Mickey Raphael, who both turn in spirited solos throughout the recording. Here We Go Again could be accused of cashing in, but that would not be fair considering the superb musicianship and thought that went into its programming.


Track Listing: Hallelujah; Come Rain or Come Shine; Unchain My Heart; Cryin' Time; Loosing Hand; Hit The Road Jack; Movin' On; Busted; Here We Go Again; Making Whoopie; I Love You So Much It Hurts.

Personnel: Willie Nelson: vocals, guitar; Wynton Marsalis: trumpet; Norah Jones: piano, vocals; Mickey Raphael: harmonica; Walter Blanding: tenor saxophone; Dan Nimmer: piano; Carlos Henriquez: bass; Ali Jackson Jr: drums, percussion.

Record Label: Blue Note Records



comments powered by Disqus