Thursday, June 25, 2009

Willie Nelson & Diana Krall duet

On August 25, Willie Nelson will be releasing "American Classic," his first album of jazz standards since "Stardust," (1978) and his solo debut for Blue Note Records. Produced by Tommy LiPuma, "American Classic" features special guest appearances by Diana Krall (in a duet with Nelson on "If I Had You") & Norah Jones, string arrangements by Johnny Mandel, and a top shelf backing band that includes Nelson’s longtime sidekick Mickey Raphael on harmonica, and such notable jazzmen as pianist Joe Sample of "Crusaders" fame, bassist Christian McBride (currently with the Chick Corea/John McLaughlin band), and drummer Lewis Nash, former Ron Carter associate.

Back in '78, "Stardust" went on to become the most successful album of Nelson's career thus far. It reached #1 on the Billboard’s Country Albums chart; racked up more than five million in sales; earned Nelson a Country Male Vocal Performance Grammy; and, most significantly, helped to transform a colorful, middle-aged cult figure into a mainstream star.

Encouraging the "outlaw" entertainer's new project was Bruce Lundvall, President of Blue Note Records, who had the prescience to sign Nelson to Columbia in the ‘70s and, thirty years later, offer him a home at Blue Note. Nelson’s first effort for the label was his acclaimed 2008 collaboration with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, "Two Men With the Blues," a spirited live set that garnered wide acclaim, debuted at #20 on the Billboard pop chart, and was also released on DVD.

The track listing for "American Classic":
1. The Nearness Of You
2. Fly Me To The Moon
3. Come Rain Or Shine
4. If I Had You featuring Diana Krall
5. Ain’t Misbehavin’
6. I Miss You So
7. Because Of You
8. Baby It’s Cold Outside featuring Norah Jones
9. Angel Eyes
10. On The Street Where You Live
11. Since I Fell For You
12. Always On My Mind

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