For the last 8 days Jeff "The Jedi Master" Jones and I have mixed a DVD/CD of our quintet performing the music of Ray Charles with blues harmonica specialist Mickey Raphael, Willie Nelson and Norah Jones.
Several things stand out.
Of course, Willie's unique phrasing and natural originality, the way generations and genres of American music so easily integrate with Norah and Willie and the absolutely excellent performance of our young rhythm section who play the many different regional root grooves that give this music vitality.
From the Texas two-groove to the New Orleans ragtime 2 beat to the gospel 6/8 to the Mississippi chain gang stomp to the backbeat bougaloo to the country waltz to the country walking ballad to all types of swing (modern refined burnout to Kansas City to big city), Ali, Dan and Carlos were taking care of business. They played each groove with authority, joy and meaning.