Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis & Norah Jones - Here We Go Again: Celebrating The Genius Of Ray Charles

The stars come out for Brother Ray

Here We Go Again:
Celebrating The Genius
Of Ray Charles

When it came to musical
demarcation lines, the late Ray
Charles couldn’t care less. There
were only two kinds of music to
his ears – good and bad. In the
50s, the blind singer/pianist
sowed the seeds for soul music
when he controversially married
the earthy sound of rhythm and
blues – the so-called “devil’s
music” – with the devotional
cadences of gospel.

Again, in the early 60s,
Charles took an unexpected left
turn into Nashville and fused
soul with country. His work
helped to dissolve both musical
and racial barriers in the States,
and in recognition of his
pioneering spirit and importance to American music, back in
February 2009, renegade
country legend Willie Nelson
joined forces with jazz trumpeter
Wynton Marsalis and his band
for a Ray Charles tribute concert
at Lincoln Center (the two men
had previously collaborated on
2008’s critically-lauded Two
Men With The Blues album).
Now available on CD, the
concert focuses on material
associated with Charles, ranging
from Hit The Road Jack to
Hallelujah I Love Her So and a
fiery gospel-fuelled What’d I Say.
It’s enhanced by the alluring
presence of Norah Jones, who
contributes blithe, bittersweet
vocals in contrast to Nelson’s
craggy, weathered delivery and
Marsalis’ plaintive horn lines.

Blue Note | 5099902614458

Reviewed by Charles Waring
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