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CD Review: Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis

Two Men with the Blues



The Deal: Country crooner teams up with jazzbo for two-night performance at Lincoln Center.

The Good: If you're a fan of Nelson, you'd probably enjoy the layering that comes with this effort, taken from Jan. 12 and 13, 2007, shows. The trumpet work by Marsalis is as good as you'd expect and neither takes anything away from the other, only giving each other a little added boost. There's a little more bluesy depth on "Georgia on My Mind." It almost feels like a case of city mouse/country mouse in musical form. Each member finds the time for a solo and can shine through their own songs and standards. While some songs may simply sound like a Nelson song with horn added in, others sound like something completely different. "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It" lets Nelson try out something with more of a New Orleans swing to it. It maintains the raw, live edge you'd expect, yet has the quality of a studio recording.

The Bad: Not a bad thing about it.

The Verdict: What might seem like an odd pairing at first glance works surprisingly well. It's comfortable enough to make you hope for a sequel.

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