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Most of the material is familiar ("Hallelujah I Love Her So," "Hit the Road Jack," "Crying Time," "Busted," "What'd I Say," "Unchain My Heart"), but there are a few surprises, like the deep blues "Losing Hand." And while the songs are performed more or less in Charles's style, the arrangements, many of them with a New Orleans flavor, are uniformly fresh and dynamic, leading to some transcendent performances. Marsalis's solos are brilliant, combining chops, taste, and humor, and in the band saxophonist Walter Blanding and drummer Ali Jackson are particularly good, although everyone's at the top of their game.
If there's a weak link here, it's Nelson, whose laid-back singing never comes close to generating the passion of Brother Ray's. In fairness, no one else's does, either. But ol' Willie tends to play fast and loose with the melodies, flattening them out to limited variations on the blues, and his guitar playing, while soulful, just can't measure up to the great musicians around him. Jones is frustratingly laid-back as well; her duets with Nelson will remind no one of the incendiary duels between Charles and Margie Hendricks. In fact, it's Marsalis, never known as a vocalist, who provides the hottest moments at the mike. Bonus material includes a behind-the-scenes featurette. --Sam Graham
The iconic Willie Nelson with a world class jazz band, fronted by Wynton Marsalis is a real treat. Add a small dose of Nora Jones and this little treasure of music magic is worth... Read morePublished 1 month ago by John D Sorensen
Picture and audio quality superb. Guest artists well chosen. Quality musicians and vocals. Not a real fan of either but this is great.Published 10 months ago by Leonie J. Wilson
Be warned, this blu ray may not play on some older players. My samsung BD-D5500 apparently has had all the updates it will get as the audio on this disc would break up and then... Read morePublished 11 months ago by El Tea
Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis are so great together, as unexpected as that seems. Since I also love Brother Ray, this is a recording made in heaven.Published 12 months ago by Dennis Haines
Lifetime treasure for me just like Willie said it would be for him! Willie is 80 now and I hope he gets to do this again like he said he would.Published 18 months ago by Roger A. Bower
Wynton Marsalis haad to be the best jazz musician today. The guys he plays with our the very best. I wouold recommend this DVD tio all jazz lovers.Published 18 months ago by William L Robinson
They complement each other. The music mix is extraordinary. I got this cd two years ago and still love it!Published on September 2, 2012 by Lu
wynton marsalis & willie nelson are wonderful on this CD.
& norah charles is not to shabby either...she blends in beautifully with them. Read more