Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis’s acclaimed collaboration Two Men with the Blues debuted today at #20 on the Billboard Top 200 chart with first week sales of 21,650, marking a career-high for both of these legendary artists. That ranking is Willie’s highest of the Soundscan era, and his highest since 1982 when his album Always on My Mind hit #2 on the charts (Stardust peaked at #30 in 1978).
For Wynton the charting is a career best. Previously, his album Hot House Flowers reached #90 on the Top 200 back in 1984.
Released July 8, 2008, by Blue Note Records, Two Men with the Blues has also been garnering rave reviews from critics across the musical spectrum. The Boston Globe called it “an unmitigated, ear-tickling success,” while Billboard remarked that the album’s “enviably assured vibe pretty much drips out of the speakers.” The duo gave a stunning performance of “Bright Lights Big City” on NBC’s The Tonight with Jay Leno on July 10 http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_with_Jay_Leno/video/episodes.shtml and NPR’s All Things Considered broadcast a fantastic 11-minute interview segment on July 12 http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92405847&sc=emaf
Jazz at Lincoln Center has also just announced a return engagement to the site where the album was recorded live in January 2007. On February 9, 2009, Willie & Wynton will reunite, this time in JALC’s Rose Theater to help celebrate the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. Tickets will be available for purchase thru JALC’s box office beginning August 13.
For more information please visit http://www.jalc.org
Nice playful interview! That was great! Thanks Luigi!!
Pre-sale for the Willie and Wynton concert on February 9, 2009, is now available for MasterCard cardholders.
Did you see this one? It makes me miss NYC.
But, why do they call Walter, Carlos, Dan, and Ali the “quartet”? It’s like Wynton’s not part of the band. If your eye sees 5 people and your ear hears 5 instruments, it’s a quintet, correct?
Saw Wynton and Willie with J@LC in Hollywood a few weeks ago. I was surprised at how well the music worked between two artists who most would consider totally unrelated. I’d have to say though that I liked the first set with J@LC + Wynton on their own better though - just my personal jazz bias I guess. I really enjoy hearing the band and soloists stretch out too.
I’m glad to hear how well received the recording is, and hope that the two continue with success.
So who is snapping for 4 at the top of “Night Life”?
I love this album. I’ve given about six of them as gifts. They really do merge the genres with their collaboration. And what a band! Mickey Raphael is so talented, and the rest of Wynton’ quintet is so good. Only ten cuts on the album, though—I hope they will release the rest of the shows.
I can’t wait for the dvd. I wish I could go hear them play next Feb; I should have jumped on tickets.
[edited to fix bad spelling]
I like the idea that this cross over cd is caputring the fans from country, blues and jazz alike. great collboration. An opening for branding the two idioms.
I’m a first-time poster to this forum. Yesterday, on my blog, as part of my regular music or movie reviews on Monday, I reviewed Two Men and the Blues. Here’s an excerpt:
“Two Men and the Blues” is a live recording. It serves the music well because, I think, the perfection of a studio would have lessened the impact and spontaneity of the performance. You get the sense that these seven men are not on a stage at a prestigious concert hall but in the drummer’s garage. It’s a Saturday night, it’s hot, the door’s open, the beer getting warm in the ice chest full of melting ice, and these guys are just jammin’ for no other reason that they love music.
Let me know what y’all think.
Texas Pulp Writer
Due to overwhelming demand and sold out concert on February 9th, Jazz at Lincoln Center added a second concert on February 10th for Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis.
Willie Nelson and Wynton will perform in Rose Theater at 8 p.m. on February 9 and February 10, 2009
Check the tour section for more info about tickets.
I ordered a copy of “Two Men with the Blues” before the release and waited in great anticipation for its arrival in the mail. I was not disappointed! I think it is wonderful that Wynton and Willie made this recording. I grew up on Blues, Jazz, Classical music, Big Band Swing, Funk, Soul and Country music. Country music and Blues music come from similar roots. Jazz and Blues come from similar roots. The project makes absolute sense to me. Different geners of music are kind of like different races of people… there are some that you are more familiar with and some that you aren’t…but all kinds have something to say that is worth listening to. I have this cd in my cd player in my car and find something new in it every day. Listen to “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It” if a person can’t find a way to enjoy that simple ditty with the great musical parts that are performed, something is just wrong. It’s a great performance.