A Fan’s Review of Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis at the Lincoln Center (1/12/2007)

Eric was one of the lucky ones who got to see Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis at the Lincoln Center on Friday night, and posted this review at Willie’s fan association site:

My wife and I were fortunate to attend the Willie Nelson Sings the Blues show last night (Jan. 12) in New York City. The show was part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center concert series. It was held in the Allen Room, a spectacular venue on Columbus Circle. It seats about 500 people and the back of the stage is a huge window that overlooks Central Park and the New York City skyline.

There were two performances last night at 7:30 and 9:30, as well at two tonight. We attended the 9:30 show.

Willie Nelson Sings the Blues featured:

Willie, vocals and guitar (Trigger)
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
Walter Blanding, tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet
Dan Nimmer, piano
Carlos Henriquez, bass
Ali Jackson, drums
Mickey Raphael, harmonica (but not noted in the program)

The show was fantastic. Willie was in great form and he was working with great musicians. It worked beautifully. Although advertised as a blues show, and there was heavy blues element in the show, it was primarily a jazz oriented event. Each of the musicians took solo parts in most of the songs and it was wonderful. The drummer, Ali Jackson, was spectacular. It was obvious that Willie was enjoying the show as well.

This show was Willie in an element in which we don’t normally see him. My favorites of the night were Night Life and a splendid version of Stardust.

After the show, we were able to visit with Willie for a minute and my lovely wife received a hug from him.

The songs performed were:

Bright Lights, Big City
Night Life
Fool’s Paradise
Ain’t Nobody’s Business
My Buckets Got A Hole In It
Basin Street Blues
Georgia On My Mind
Down By The Riverside
That’s All
Don’t Get Round Much Anymore

The only sour note was in the program, where the songwriter credit for Night Life was given to Walter Breeland. We all know that Willie wrote the song, but in need of money, sold the the rights for $150 to Paul Buskirk and Walter Breeland.

Hopefully they will release a CD of this show, or a compilation of the four shows, so that everybody can enjoy this special event. Even better, I know that PBS has broadcast a number of the Lincoln Center jazz events. Maybe this will be one of them.


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