I've surprised myself by really liking this collaboration of Wynton Marsalis and Eric Clapton, when in the past discovering either of those two names associated with new projects, have usually disappointed. Indeed my initial surprise came from reading a review in the London Time several weeks ago, where the critic stated this is 20's New Orleans jazz fused with Chicago style blues but it works. He cited the rearranged 'Layla' for comment(apparently included in the set at the request of one of Marsalis's band) so I felt compelled to hear this, with at least a certain cynercism about how far it would work to my ears. Any hestitacy was down to my long feeling that Clapton's music had laid back so far, it had fallen over and gone to sleep/not had anything new to say, while Marsalis's long term utterances about fusion have been a turn off. Therefore I admit to slight amusement in a seemingly ironic situation, i.e. Marsalis being involved playing a form of jazz fusion - psomething he has not done on record since his contributions to the 'Fuse' albums in the early 80's.
Now, having obtained the CD I've been propelled to also buy the DVD, and gained even more enjoyment seeing the genuine pleasure that each musician gets from the others' playing. This recording is excellent in most aspect. Musicvally it is a form of jazz fusion perhaps not tried before but it works. However, as fusion it is not obvious, since we are given largely excellent played New Orleans style 20's jazz but with Clapton dropping in nicely, largely playing electric Chicago blues. And I've almost worn out Layla, it is very different from original Derek & The Dominoes' version and alone worth the £10 for the DVD/CD set. The CD and DVD bothprovide copious evidence of musical synergy, players from somewhat different backgrounds provoking each other into some superior playing without showing off and definitely integrating superbly well throughout.