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The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale

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Audio CD, July 29, 2014
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The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale + The Road to Escondido + The Very Best of J. J. Cale (The Definitive Collection)
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Editorial Reviews

Eric Clapton has often stated that JJ Cale is one of the single most important figures in rock history, a sentiment echoed by many of his fellow musicians. Cale s influence on Clapton and many of today s artists cannot be understated. To honor JJ s legacy, a year after his passing, Clapton gathered a group of like-minded friends and musicians for Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale). With performances by Clapton, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Derek Trucks and Don White, the album features 16 beloved JJ Cale songs and is named for the 1972 single "Call Me The Breeze."

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Digital Booklet: Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)
Digital Booklet: Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 29, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bushbranch / Surfdog
  • ASIN: B00K0X1PYM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (886 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 98 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Stolk on July 29, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Exactly one year after J.J. Cale died (he passed away in July 2013, at the age of 74), this tribute by some of the world's greatest guitarists appears, headed by Eric Clapton. Cale was one of the founders of the so-called Tulsa Sound, a swampy mix of blues, country and rock 'n' roll. The relaxed guitar sounds of J.J. Cale had a great influence on many guitarists, including Eric Clapton, so it's not strange that from his hands a tribute to J.J. Cale comes forth. It's not only that Clapton earlier recorded work from the bluesman, take for example such hits as "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," but the two also worked together regularly. Shortly before his death, Cale could be heard on Clapton's 2013 album "Old Sock" and in 2006 they won a Grammy for their album "The Road To Escondido."

On "The Breeze: An Appreciation Of JJ Cale," Clapton enlists the help of string virtuosos like Tom Petty, John Mayer, Mark Knopfler, and Don White. Willie Nelson sings along, as does Cale's wife Christine Lakeland, who provides backing vocals on "Crying Eyes." Everyone's singing and guitar style compliments the 16 compositions on this album impressively. Thus Mayer's rhythmic game works wonderfully on "Don't Wait," while his drawling vocals prove very suitable for the slightly country-fried version of "Magnolia." Knopfler infuses "Someday" with his signature guitar work and Nelson's fragile vocals enrich "Songbird" and "Starbound," although his somewhat nasal twang might not be to everyone's liking. Clapton is in great form himself on the funky "Cajun Moon." The biggest surprise comes in the form of the wonderful harmonies between Clapton and Petty on songs like "Rock And Roll Records," "The Old Man And Me" and "I Got The Same Old Blues.
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By r.j. zurek on July 29, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Over the last few years tributes have become quite common in the Roots music world. Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Little Walter and Son House have all been honored recently with a salute to Muddy Waters due for release in August. These tributes generally fall into two categories: the artist who was influenced by someone past and never got the chance to perform with (Maria Muldaur's take on Memphis Minnie; Rory Block's "The Lady and Mr. Johnson") or a musician will honor someone they played with who helped to develop their style (John Mooney's recent salute to his mentor Son House; David Newman's tribute to Ray Charles "I Remember Brother Ray"). Eric Clapton's tribute to his friend and favorite songwriter, the late JJ Cale falls into the latter category and is aptly titled- this is truly an APPRECIATION.

Clapton was first motivated for this project during the flight from England to attend Cale's funeral July of 2013. He met Don White at the funeral; White was one of the first band leaders to ever hire Cale. When White agreed to the tribute, Clapton moved ahead and hired bassist Nathan East and drummer Jim Keltner for the rhythm section (Keltner, one of the greatest drummers in history is an Okie like Cale contributing to the famous Tulsa sound).

Clapton's choice of guests on this project speaks to his strength as a band leader. Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and Don White are all gifted, all very different performers yet the common thread of creating a groove unites them in this very successful undertaking. Cale was quoted in a Blues Review interview ten years ago "They needed a marketing term for me, so they picked two- "laid-back" and "recluse". True enough.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 29, 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is a very good tribute to the great JJ Cale. It is a little variable in quality but overall is a fine album of JJ's songs, covered with genuine respect and affection by some great musicians who liked and admired him.

As the title suggests, Eric Clapton is the backbone of this album. He appears as either guitarist, singer or both on all the tracks and is excellent throughout. He captures the spirit of JJ in both his vocals and in his guitar work, which is quite some feat. Cale was a very fine guitarist indeed under all the relaxed-sounding cool, with a subtlety of touch that only genuine masters like Clapton can come close to emulating. He puts in fine performances here and he makes this the very good album it is.

Other guests perform with varying success: Tom Petty is brilliant on both Same Old Blues and The Old Man & Me, and Mark Knopfler is (as always) unmistakeably himself which works fantastically well on Someday. It is great to hear Christine Lakeland on backing vocals in the lovely closer Crying eyes. Willie Nelson is, of course, just Willie Nelson, which I think is absolutely great on Songbird and absolutely awful on Starbound, and John Mayer is OK but just a bit lacklustre.

This is an album of excellent music played by fine musicians and is generally a very successful collaboration. It is also right and proper that a genuine, quality tribute should be paid in this way to JJ Cale. There is enough excellence here for me to round 4.5 stars up to 5, despite the odd blip. My only question is - will I play this in preference to my dearly loved, scratchy old vinyl originals? Possibly not: Naturally, Okie, Shades and others are still magnificent albums which I still play very regularly, and I can't really see me playing this in preference to them very often. Nevertheless, this album is still very well worth having - it has some terrific music-making on it and it's a fine tribute to a truly great man. Recommended.
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Eric Clapton and J.J. Cale
I certainly hope that at least ONE TUNE will be added with Leon Russell. J J Cale was just another unknown "Okie" when Leon offered to bring him into his stable, Shelter Records. Nearly all of the Shelter artists are now affectionately known under the umbrella of, The Tulsa Sound. ... Read More
May 22, 2014 by H. Brown |  See all 24 posts
how about can't be "overstated"
Who's editing today's tweeting, blogging 'editors', who no longer edit but edify?
Jun 25, 2014 by Paulo |  See all 5 posts
A well-deserved homage
I thought the same... perhaps this is their personal favorites. Just heard the title cut on KPIG and I had to check to see that it wasn't the late Mr. Cale! Clapton does a fine cover. Have just preordered the vinyl and I look forward to spinning the LP.

BTW, NPR has the whole new Petty... Read More
Jul 21, 2014 by Wipster |  See all 3 posts
I just saw an hour-long special on VH1 Classic about the making of this... Be the first to reply
Thank you Mr. Clapton and Friends Be the first to reply
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