Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis: Basin Street Blues


Basin Street Blues


Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar) and Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)


Two Men With the Blues (Blue Note 04454)

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Willie Nelson (vocals, guitar), Wynton Marsalis (trumpet),

Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Walter Blanding (reeds), Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass), Ali Jackson (drums)


Composed by Spencer Williams


Recorded: The Allen Room, Frederick P. Rose Hall, New York, January 12-13, 2007


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Wynton Marsalis's credentials as an exponent of New Orleans jazz are well known. But Willie Nelson sounds like he has spent a fair amount of time on "Basin Street" too. His relaxed, behind-the-beat delivery is very jazzy, and the whole band gets into the mood on this track. I am favorably impressed by Mickey Raphael's harmonica contribution here, and elsewhere on this live date. But Marsalis threatens to steal the show with his stop-time solo. I wish he had taken another chorus, or maybe two or three. In short, this meeting of the reigning monarchs of jazz and country turns out to be a celebration of mutual respect and brotherly love. Visitors to Basin Street today are often surprised to see monuments to Simón Bolívar, Benito Juárez and Francisco Morazán. Maybe it's time to add Willie and Wynton to the mix.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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