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

4.5 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

WILLIE NELSON & WYNTON MARSALIS PLAY THE MUSIC OF RAY CHARLES, SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCE BY NORAH JONES

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 happens...as 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

Amazon.com

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


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”

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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002M3JJDM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,933 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James on December 13, 2009
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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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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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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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 watching on a regular basis. Like chicken and waffles, it doesn't sound tasty when you are first told, but one taste and you are hooked.
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Wynton and Willie, quite a combo. Willies singing, phrasing, and guitar playing are in wonderful and unique form in this video. Winton is awesome on his horn, and most expressive. Walter Blanding is terrific, as are Carlos Henriquez, and Ali Jackson. And the presence of Norah Jones and HER awesome phrasing and voice adds a sparkle to both Willie and Wynton. Willie smile lights up his face every time he looks over at her. Wynton flirts with her which I have never seen him do with anyone else. This is lovely and soulful, enjoy!
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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. Wynton Marsalis does his best to try and put on a good performance but he couldn't carry it by himself. Norah Jones has that wonderful voice, of course, but she was young in this video and looks very uncomfortable. These are all great performers but unfortunately this one just didn't fly in my opinion.
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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 interpretações dígnas do elogiado Ray Charles. Todavia faltou sinal e dinâmica no som DTS-HDMasterAudio o que torna a audição deste BD um pouco sem vida, apesar da ótima definição instrumental e da notável presença do contrabaixo, motivo pelo qual subtraí uma estrela das 5 que este BD merecia. Mesmo assim recomendo este BD para todos que apreciam este gênero de música. Afinal de contas, pelo preço que está sendo ofertado na Amazon.com, vale cada centavo investido.
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This is the second time I've heard Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis in concert together. I'm surprised at how well they do together and how great they sound. I had "heard of" Nora Jones but hadn't actually paid attention. Now, I will. She's great also. Loved it.
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