‘Here We Go Again’: Live Ray Charles Tribute from Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, and Norah Jones

April 1, 2011
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Here We Go Again - Willie Nelson - Wynton Marsalis - Norah JonesThe Ray Charles tribute ‘Here We Go Again’, recorded live from two dates at the Lincoln Center in New York City, shows three great musicians, Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, and Norah Jones, really shining. It features shimmering recordings with excellent horn arrangements. The previous collaboration ‘Two Men With The Blues’ must of brought this idea on. Willie Nelson’s guitar playing and voice work well live and Wynton Marsalis is top notch leading the horns. Norah Jones is most suited to this sound, but it all works well.

‘Here We Go Again’ starts off with “Hallelujah, I Love Her So”, it starts off pretty good, but it gets so much better. “Come Rain Or Come Shine” features Norah Jones on vocals and finds her completely at home on this song. This is very jazzy indeed. “Unchain My Heart” is Willie doing quite well in his breakup song mode. A very familiar place he has been before. Willie’s harmonica and guitar sound marvelous here. Impressive drums and a groovy trumpet from Wynton. Next comes Willie’s specialty, a weeper. The classic “Cryin’ Time” has Willie and Norah doing a duet. The horn arrangement is tasty on the headphones. 

“Losing Hand” finds Willie moanin’ the blues comparing love with card playing, and some stellar trumpet Wynton style. “Hit The Road Jack” is a swing barn burner folks. This has some impressive jamming here, clocking in at over 7 minutes. This of course is one of Ray Charles’ biggest hits. “I’m Moving On” is a cover of a cover, as Hank Snow was #1 on the country chart 20 weeks with this one. Quite an interesting version. “Busted” finds Willie and Wynton doing this well known song very nicely with more excellent guitar and harmonica from Willie.

“Here We Go Again” has Norah Jones on the vocals with Willie. Another fine performance with more stellar Wynton trumpet, and Willie’s used up Martin guitar and more harmonicas. Willie stands by old Martins. “Makin’ Whoopie” has been done to death and Norah does a credible version. “I Love You So Much It Hurts” finds Willie lovesick and moanin’ again, and yes it works well. The closer is the huge hit for Ray “What’d I Say”. Willie and Norah get very jazzy on this one. I like it alot. I am going with 4 1/2 stars on this one.

‘Here We Go Again’ is available on Rhapsody along with millions of songs. I recommend getting a compatible Mp3 player. You can use an Apple iPod touch or iPad. With a”To Go” subscription its the price of one CD or so. The fella on the commercial with 2,700 is a riot. I have 30,000. Maybe I am not normal. Rhapsody is easily the best deal around for music. It is ideal for enjoying artists such as Willie with such a large number of releases.

Contact the Author: KennethEOquist@ArtsandEntertainmentPlayground.com


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