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Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis Play the Music of Ray Charles [Blu-ray] (2009)

Willie Nelson , Wynton Marsalis , Brad J. Fuss  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis Play the Music of Ray Charles [Blu-ray] + Les Paul: Live in New York (Blu-ray/ DVD Combo + Digital Copy) + Overtime [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones
  • Directors: Brad J. Fuss
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002M3JJDM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,760 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • All Access, a documentary comprising interviews with Marsalis, Nelson, and Norah Jones about the Jazz at Lincoln Center concert
  • Musical photo gallery with never-before-seen rehearsal footage, set to the artists’ phenomenal rendition of Charles’ “What’d I Say”

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Recorded Live at Jazz at Lincoln Center s Frederick P. Rose Hall on February 10, 2009

Once in a while the stars align and something magical on the night Jazz at Lincoln Center presented a salute to the late, great bluesman, Ray Charles. Two musical iconoclasts, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis, along with the stunning songstress Norah Jones, collectively brought their unique musical perspective to the legendary artist s hits such as Hallelujah I Love Her So, Hit the Road Jack, and Unchain My Heart. The evening s musicians are supported by insightful and vibrant performances from saxaphonist Walter Blanding, pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Carlos Henriquez, drummer Ali Jackson, and harmonica great Mickey Raphael.

WILLIE NELSON AND WYNTON MARSALIS PLAY THE MUSIC OF RAY CHARLES gives music lovers a front-row seat to the sold-out concert in New York City at Rose Theater, including rehearsal footage, exclusive interviews and photos.

BONUS FEATURES: All Access Behind-the-Scenes Documentary; Photo Gallery

It may seem like an odd pairing: a trumpet virtuoso best known for his work in jazz and a septuagenarian singer-songwriter whose roots are deepest in the soil of country music. But the title, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis Play the Music of Ray Charles, explains it. The late Ray Charles, though perhaps best known as the de facto creator of soul music, was genuinely beyond category, combining gospel, blues, jazz, and country to form one of the most original styles in 20th-century music. Joined by Norah Jones on several of the 15 tunes in this 90-minute show (recorded in 2009 at New York's Lincoln Center), Marsalis and Nelson use Charles's songs to tell the tale of love that's found, then lost, and then found again.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music lover December 13, 2009
By James
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Beautifully shot. Most of the arrangements are brand new. The combination of the musical talents of Wynton Marsalis, Willie Nelson and Norah Jones is magical.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun; Lots of education December 21, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD is both educational and lots of fun. Wynton is a great educator and seems to enjoy teaching as much as entertaining. He does both well. Willie Nelson is a consummate artist in a very different genre - maybe not so different after all. These music icons obviously respect each other. This album offers great music, played in riveting style. Absolutely painless education. Powerful inspiration for any musician to perform at their best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent August 3, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I didn't know what to expect when I ordered this disc. I have only heard Wynton Marsalis play a few times, but I'm a big fan of Willie Nelson and Ray Charles. This is an excellent pairing and Norah Jones just topped the show. It is well worth purchasing. Turn up the volume and enjoy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can One Step In The Same River Twice? April 30, 2010
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
If you wish to enjoy the music of Ray Charles at its best get the CDs by Ray Charles. His historic studio recordings cannot be successfully replicated by another. Ray Charles was unique.

That said this is quite a good concert. I did not know what to expect- jazzified country music or countrified western cum jazz? After viewing the disc I'll say it's only a grateful reminder that Ray Charles once walked this planet. I am left wondering why Marsalis the eminent jazz trumpeter will not try the music of famous jazz trumpeters instead, or the music of George Gershwin?

A note at the beginning of the great rock n' roll DVD, "The Last Waltz", suggests that you play that DVD loudly (for a good reason). I suggest you do similarly with this disc. Video quality is as espected.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poor quality sound July 31, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
sound quality was poor - just a taped tv show - supposed to be dts-hd -but just a flat sound image no dimensionality - not even as good quality as the usual tv show broadcast in dolby 5.1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't touch their jazz collaboration at Lincoln Center February 4, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love these two guys, but this performance can't touch their "Live from Jazz at Lincoln Center" performance. Tough for even Willie to out interpret Ray Charles.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE!!!!! January 30, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are a Willie Nelson and/or Wynton Marsalis fan, you will LOVE this DVD as much as I did. Have had it about a month and played it several times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great combo of 2 masters!!!! December 4, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love the combination of the two very different styles. These two masters have created a very dynamic unique masterpiece.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars just awesome! lay down and
just awesome ! lay down and listen
Published 2 months ago by Robert Remenyi
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised
Picture and audio quality superb. Guest artists well chosen. Quality musicians and vocals. Not a real fan of either but this is great.
Published 8 months ago by Leonie J. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars warning
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 more
Published 9 months ago by El Tea
5.0 out of 5 stars Two great musicians play the music of another great musician
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 10 months ago by Dennis Haines
5.0 out of 5 stars Wilie, Wynton, and Nora!
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 16 months ago by Roger A. Bower
5.0 out of 5 stars Willie and Wynton Great Together
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 16 months ago by William L Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool music
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
5.0 out of 5 stars CAG
wynton marsalis & willie nelson are wonderful on this CD.
& norah charles is not to shabby either...she blends in beautifully with them. Read more
Published on October 10, 2011 by CAG
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I'm a big Willie Nelson fan but this DVD didn't do much for me. Willie just didn't seem comfortable and no one on stage seemed to be having any fun. Read more
Published on July 11, 2011 by Jeffrey Tucker
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELENTE PERFORMANCE, MAS...
Este é um dos BDs de Jazz-Blues com uma das melhores performances vocais que eu já ouvi em BDs, com uma imagem excelente e músicas muito bem selecionadas, com... Read more
Published on July 10, 2011 by WALTER BRAZIL
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