New 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 shows 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). Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues: Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center will be available September 13 at physical and digital retail outlets for suggested list prices of $18.98 (CD), $24.98 (CD/DVD) and $9.99 (digital; audio only). The DVD will also feature a bonus performance of the classic Stagger Lee" from legendary bluesman Taj Mahal's opening solo set for these special shows.
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 pealsa moving dialogue in lovesickness and blues routes."
Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton will offer fans a spellbinding evening of blues and jazz in Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues: Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center, a one-night in-theater concert event broadcast to nearly 550 movie theaters nationwide on Wednesday, September 7, at 7:30 p.m. local time. The concert also includes a special appearance by blues musician Taj Mahal, who joins the duo for two songs, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage. This intimate performance from Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City brings together an unrivaled cross-generational, cross-cultural collaboration as the pair of musical virtuosos brought to life a repertoire of songs selected by Clapton and arranged by Marsalis. Captured this past spring from Jazz at Lincoln Center's renowned annual gala, the iconic duo, performed to a sell-out crowd.
Tickets for Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues are available at participating theater box offices and online at http://www.FathomEvents.com. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
Presented by NCM Fathom and Reprise Records, Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton Play the Blues will be broadcast nationwide through NCM's exclusive Digital Broadcast Network. We're playing music we know and love," says Marsalis.
Marsalis is a trumpeter, composer, bandleader, music educator and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has been awarded nine Grammy awards and Blood on the Fields was the first jazz piece to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the bands Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton, a 17-time Grammy award winner, has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.
Jazz at Lincoln Center is truly one of the most distinguished producers of jazz music in the country," said Dan Diamond, vice president of NCM Fathom. Both jazz and blues enthusiasts alike will be left speechless by the eclectic mix of music and heartfelt performances of this power-duo."
About National CineMedia (NCM)
NCM operates NCM Media Networks, a leading integrated media company reaching U.S. consumers in movie theaters, online and through mobile technology. The NCM Cinema Network and NCM Fathom present cinema advertising and events across the nation's largest digital in-theater network, comprised of theaters owned by AMC Entertainment Inc., Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) and other leading regional theater circuits. NCM's theater advertising network covers 175 Designated Market Areas® (49 of the top 50) and includes over 18,100 screens (16,800 digital). During 2010, over 690 million patrons attended movies shown in theaters in which NCM currently has exclusive, cinema advertising agreements in place. The NCM Fathom Events broadcast network is comprised of nearly 700 locations in 165 Designated Market Areas® (all of the top 50). The NCM Interactive Network offers 360-degree integrated marketing opportunities in combination with cinema, encompassing 42 entertainment-related websites, online widgets and mobile applications. National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI) owns a 48.7% interest in and is the managing member of National CineMedia LLC. For more information, visit www.nationalcinemedia.com or www.ncm.com.