News

Nelson, Marsalis & Jones to Celebrate Ray Charles

By , Editor | The Jazz Line

Following on from their 2008 collaboration ‘Two Men With The Blues‘, Wynton Marsalis and Willie Nelson are joining forces once again – This time to celebrate the music of Ray Charles with the release of ‘Here We Go Agian: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles‘.

After inviting Norah Jones to join them for two sold-out nights at the Rose Theatre in New York, instead of performing material from “Two Men With The Blues“, the trio instead made the impromptu decision to pay homage to the late musical legend Ray Charles during the concerts.

Recorded live on the second night at the Rose Theatre, the album features some of Charles’ greatest hits; including “Hallelujah I Love Her So”, “What’d I Say”, and “Hit The Road Jack”. All 12 songs on the album feature new, original arrangements by Marsalis and his Jazz at the Lincoln Center team, who rendered the songs in a variety of styles – including gospel, country, 4/4 swing, and r&b. This reflects Charles’ own taste for musical experimentation and cross-over throughout his legendary musical career, during which he amassed a stunning 12 grammy awards, and honors at the Rock, Jazz, and Rhythm and Blues Halls of Fame.

When Jones was told the theme of the concert would focus of Charles’ music, she commented “I know all those songs. We all just love his music. That’s the common factor.” Nelson, who praises Charles’ classic country disc ‘I Can’t Stop Loving You‘, says, “He did more for country music with that one album than any of us could have done because he opened country songs and country music to millions of his fans and brought a whole lot of people together.”

‘Here We Go Agian: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles’ is due for release on March 29th 2011.