quarta-feira, 10 de fevereiro de 2016

Willie Nelson & Marian McPartland | 2002 NPR’s Piano Jazz

Willie Nelson w/ Marian McPartland
NPR’s Piano Jazz broadcast February 10, 2002. 
Recorded in July 2001 at Manhattan Beach Recording Studios, New York, NY. 
Excellent FM stereo.

This short and sweet performance with Marian McPartland and Jackie King is pure joy. Nelson’s voice has matured well and can carry feeling the way torch singers used to. It’s never forceful or contrived but a natural, warmth that Nelson puts into songs like The Heart Of A Clown, Stardust and There Will Never Be Another You. Excellent for late-night listening.

On The Great Divide, Nelson breaks away to improvise on the Hotel California riff on his acoustic guitar. You can imagine his broad smile as he flubs a note or two. Guitarist Jackie King is a longtime friend and sometime bandmate so the pairing is easy. McPartland plays unobtrusively but is lively throughout. The trio have played live in concert before so the synergy is there.

Jackie King wrote on his website, jackieking.com, of this studio performance that “it reveals the common thread between great artists and improvisers”. It’s that “outlaw” thing common to all improvisers, the need to break down barriers and live free. - The Little Chicken.

Before 1978’s Stardust, country music was country music. Willie Nelson changed that. He was very convincing with his take on pop standards when he crooned tunes like Georgia On My Mind, Blue Skies, Someone To Watch Over Me and even attempted Sinatra’s Moonlight In Vermont. The album Stardust went on to sell millions of copies and made it to Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 best albums of all time.

It wasn’t sell-out. Nelson has long loved music. All kinds of music he grew up listening to. At the start, his voice or vocal styling was largely ignored by country music but not his song-writing. Nelson’s reputation for writing classics started with Funny How Time Slips Away, Hello Walls, Pretty Paper and most famously Patsy Cline’s Crazy. His first love though was to be a performer.

Perhaps haunted by this slight, Nelson chose to become an “outlaw” in country music. He would include rock ‘n’ roll, jazz and swing into his sets, anathema in traditional country music. Since Stardust, Nelson has constantly rubbed against the boundaries of genre. He even sang a successful duet with Julio Iglesias (To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before), was accused and fined for evading taxes and arrested for smoking pot.

He has since rephrased his outlaw image to that of an activist supporting the ecology with a bio-diesel project, written songs to advocate for peace, homosexuality, Farm Aid and much more.

00:00 Introduction 0:51
00:51 Heart of a Clown (Frances Kane, Steve Nelson & Jack Rollins) 4:09
05:00 Conversation 1:00
06:00 The Gypsy (Billy Reid) 4:21
10:22 Conversation 4:14
14:37 Rainy Day Blues (Willie Nelson) 4:17
18:54 Conversation 2:28
21:22 Nuages (Django Reinhardt) 3:42
25:04 Conversation 2:52
27:56 All Of Me (Seymour Simmons & Gerald Marks) 4:09
32:05 Conversation 1:47
33:52 Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael) 4:25
38:18 Conversation 0:57
39:16 The Great Divide (Willie Nelson & Jackie King) 4:20
43:36 Conversation 2:54
46:30 Crazy (Willie Nelson) 4:08
50:39 Conversation 2:13
52:52 There’ll Never Be Another You (Larry Weir)3:15
56:07 Outro 1:51

Willie Nelson - vocals
Marian McPartland - piano
Jackie King - guitar
Gary Mazzaroppi - bass

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