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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On this album, the joy is palpable and the chemistry natural.
United by dalliances with purism as young men and an abiding love of classic blues and jazz, Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis are a more comfortable fit than it may initially seem. Both musicians are synthesists, not innovators, stitching together elements from their idols in an attempt to preserve the past while bringing it into the present, so their sensibilities are...
Published on 14 Sep 2011 by bluenote

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great collaboration
An interesting collaboration between two greats of their respective styles of music which works really well. Some great tracks including a new version of Layla
Published 4 months ago by G. Jones


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On this album, the joy is palpable and the chemistry natural., 14 Sep 2011
United by dalliances with purism as young men and an abiding love of classic blues and jazz, Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis are a more comfortable fit than it may initially seem. Both musicians are synthesists, not innovators, stitching together elements from their idols in an attempt to preserve the past while bringing it into the present, so their sensibilities are aligned and, in 2011, they're amenable to a partnership that explores their common ground.
So, Clapton and Marsalis held a series of concerts at New York City's Jazz at Lincoln Center in April of 2011, the guitarist selecting the songs (apart from "Layla", performed upon the request of bassist Carlos Henriquez), the trumpeter picking the band and working up the arrangements, using King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band as his template yet finding room for piano and, of course, guitar.
Clapton's choice of songs leans heavily toward the '20s -- so much so that the dip into postwar electric blues via Howlin' Wolf's "Forty Four" feels a bit of a shock -- and the arrangements are faithful to classic New Orleans jazz yet loose, never quite hidebound to tradition and finding plenty of space for every one of the players to roam; Clapton and Marsalis surely solo plenty, but so do trombonist Chris Crenshaw, clarinetist Victor Goines, and pianist Dan Nimmer.
There's not much ego on display -- even the inclusion of "Layla" doesn't feel forced, thanks to Marsalis' inventive New Orleans funeral arrangement of this overly familiar tune -- but the joy is palpable and the chemistry natural.
Compared to Wynton's duet albums with Willie Nelson, this is both more traditional and riskier, and compared to Clapton's latter-day duets with B.B. King and J.J. Cale, this finds the guitarist none too deferential.
These are consummate musicians united by playing music they love, and their passion resonates so strongly it's hard not to enjoy Clapton and Marsalis playing the blues. S. T. Erlewine

Best tracks: "Ice Cream", "Careless Love", "Layla", "Corrine, Corrina".

The Definitive Collection
Riding With the King
The Road to Escondido
Two Men With The Blues - Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis
Here We Go Again
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But probably will be 5 stars, 14 Sep 2011
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Audio CD)
4 stars on one listen to the CD and one watch of the DVD. My feeling is that one more listen it will be 5 stars. To be honest its not a combination of artists I thought I'd ever see. Wynton Marsalis is one of the finest Trumpet players on the planet, being an accomplished (thats an understatement) Jazz and Classical player. So to match him with Eric Clapton seemed a little odd. However as 'Bluenotes' excellent review explains better than I can they work together really well. The warmth and respect for each other seems natural and in no way forced.

The music in simplistic terms is mainly in the Trad Jazz tradition, as its mainly based on King Olivers 1920s band. With the exception of Clapton and his regular Piano player Chris Stainton the band is entirely Wynton Marsalis's. And what a band. I was fortunate enough to see the core of this band at Ronnie Scotts recently and they are absolutely brilliant. Eric Clapton isn't a Jazz guitarist but as he chose all but one of the songs (and the one he didn't choose was Layla), and most have a blues leaning he is really on home turf and contributes some fine solos, with Wynton Marsalis looking on approvingly.

Its great value for money to get the CD and the DVD, and certainly gets my recommendation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic stuff, thoroughly enjoyable!, 19 Sep 2011
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Being a huge fan for many many years of EC, I bought this automatically as I would any new release of his. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, not being overly familiar with Wynton Marsalis and his music (being far more of a blues fan than jazz although that may change!). I needn't have worried, the band is top notch as one would expect and all concerned clearly enjoyed the experience. I love hearing how EC always approaches old songs or reworkings of familiar ones and Layla doesn't disappoint. The rest of the show is mostly in the trad jazz vein and is a joy to listen to. He contributes some fine solos, all in his trademark style, mostly on a Gibson 335 for a change (being better suited for jazz than a strat). The package with the DVD is definitely the one to go for especially with it being a live performance plus you get a few snippets of interviews and rehearsal footage and a bonus solo performance of Stagger Lee from Taj Mahal.

An excellent addition to EC's catalogue and one I'll probably be replaying a lot more than last year's studio album.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great jazz/blues collaboration, 17 Sep 2011
By 
A. D. Crofts "andyc71" (Chichester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Audio CD)
This is a fun record, probably all the more so for being a bit unexpected; old-style jazz and blues played by a great band who sound like they are enjoying every minute. Clapton is on fine form, singing and playing well... he always does better when he's part of a challenging project, when someone is pushing him. Good stuff.

Edit, after a few more listens/watches, few more observations. First, I don't get the hate some people have for the sound... it's a live album, it's not meant to sound like it was recorded in a lab. Sounds fine to me.

Second, it does come across as ever so slightly under-rehearsed; good! There are a few moments where things come a halt very briefly, and everyone looks round before carrying on. There's one instance where Clapton finishes a solo slightly before the band expects it, and he's not the only culprit. But does this detract from the fun? not a bit... adds to the spontaneous live feel, if anything. Watching the DVD is worthwhile here, because you get more sense of the interplay between them all. Both Clapton and Marsalis make funny, eloquent and honest speeches between songs, which aren't on the CD.

Lastly, I found it interesting that Clapton started coming out with some very Cream-like licks whenever he was getting into his lead work... and Cream was probably more of a jazz band (live, anyway) that a rock or blues band. I like to see Clapton work hard when he plays guitar, both solos and rhythm. Not because I'm a sadist, but because he's damned good at it. His guitar choice was great for this too, lightly overdriven Gibson... I was dreading the clean Strat approach, but we were spared that!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Works!, 16 Sep 2011
This review is from: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Audio CD)
I feared the worst when I heard that Wynton Marsalis had made a live album with Eric Clapton. First Willie Nelson and Norah Jones and now Eric. What next? Wynton and Jedward?
But hats off to them - this is a great album. A future classic.
So often these kinds of collaborations tend to be a bit of a let down with neither musician feeling truly comfortable but this feels right. Marsalis has arranged the songs in a way that lets Clapton be himself. Fans of the guitarist won't be let down. He doesn't try to play Jazz - he's true to himself. In fact, he raises his game. His simple, restrained solo in Joe Turner's Blues is one of the greatest I've heard him play. Marsalis is Marsalis - a genius of our time. What more can be said?
Great value. I was pleasantly surprised to find the bonus DVD that comes with CD is pretty much the entire concert.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OH BOY WHAT A BAND, 16 Sep 2011
By 
FastHand (Harefield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Audio CD)
I must say I had my concerns about buying this album as Eric's latest album releases have been appalling and on top of that I hate Jazz, but I needn't have worried as here is an unusual slant on blues which works beautifully. Above all, Oh boy what a band. This tight knit band doesn't take prisoners and are all masters of their craft and as a live performance the sound is superb, I wish I had been there. The opening track "Ice Cream" is a rip roaring twenties style charleston number that swings from start to finish. At first I thought what's all this about then the second, third, fourth and fifth slow right down with track 3 "Joes Turners Blues" that wouldn't be out of place in a smokey filled night club. Track 7 "Layla" starts like a number has just ended then goes into a slow death march beat, a fascinating interpretation and above all Eric doesn't disappoint and neither does Wynton, great stuff. The album closes with "Corrine Corrina" a barn storming nearly 14 minute long number.
The album is based on the sound of New Orleans Jazz but Eric does have an influential input and I wasn't disappointed with his solo's. I was going to give this a four star rating but the band and sound quality is outstanding and I think it deserves five stars. Could this be a warm up to Eric bringing out a Rhythm and Blues solo album I hope so. Get it and I don't think you will be disapponted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual - but it works!, 16 Sep 2011
By 
J. HOLMES (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Audio CD)
I can only agree with the other 2 reviews, in that this is a slightly strange combination of musicians, but it works well. Definitely more jazz than blues based (let's call it jazz based blues rather than blues based jazz, if that makes sense), but Clapton's playing is always rooted in the blues. New Orleans music has always been a melting pot of musical styles, which is why it is difficult to pigeonhole, hence the problem in trying to describe it!

Clapton has explored this more jazz based approach occasionally in the past, and although he's no Kenny Burrell, what he does fits in well, and still has the EC trademark. Apparently they only had 3 days rehearsal before the gigs, but it certainly sounds tight enough to me.

All the musicians are top notch players, and EC even brought along Chris Stainton to play some keyboards, although I have to say I couldn't really hear what he was doing, with Marsalis' own piano player taking, as far as I can hear, all the keyboard solos.

The band have a very authentic New Orleans sound (to my ears), and once you get over the initial surprise of the music, this is a most enjoyable set.

It won't appeal to those who like EC's hits and more poppy stuff, but lovers of both blues and jazz will find this a most satisfying package, at a great price.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton, 30 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Audio CD)
both CD and DVD are just brilliant really really good stuff they work well together worth buying if you are a jazz or blues fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album!, 6 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play The Blues - Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center (Audio CD)
I heard this several times while travelling before buying it and it's brilliant. Clapton at his best with the jazz, blues mix with Wynton Marsalis. I challenge you not to move to the beat!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My new favourite album!, 28 Mar 2012
By 
lee bee (macclesfield, cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Bought this album with no real expectations, but I can't stop listening to it. As another reviewer has said, you can feel the fun and chemistry between the band and this comes out in the playing. Brilliantly relaxed 'feel good' music!
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