Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton – Play the Blues

Two legends of the music world got together to play a couple of shows at one of New York City’s best venues to play some blues. It was recorded in the Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall where the Jazz at the Lincoln Center takes place and so we know the vibes and acoustics are great. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and guitar virtuoso Eric Clapton played two sold-out shows of classic blues music. This is not the down in the mouth kind of blues. Members of Jazz at the Lincoln Center orchestra backed them up. The songs were selected by Clapton and arranged by Marsalis.  A total collaboration.   And listening to the 10 tracks on the album you can hear how much fun they are having. Much of the music has an upbeat New Orleans flavour to it so it would be hard not to. Besides the greatness of the two leads you get treated to some great clarinet (Victor Goines) and banjo (courtesy of the legendary Taj Mahal) solos by members of the orchestra or guest players. Clapton is the big star but he allows others their moment in the sun. Tons of great musicianship to be heard though what perked my ears up the most were Clapton’s vocals.  To me, it seems as if his voice is getting more and more appealing as it ages. An album that should be of interest to you even if you aren’t normally a fan of blues music.

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