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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy tribute to J.J. Cale's legacy., 28 July 2014
This review is from: Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze - An Appreciation of JJ Cale (Audio CD)
Exactly one year after J.J. Cale died (he passed away in July 2013, at the age of 74), this tribute by some of the world's greatest guitarists appears, headed by Eric Clapton. Cale was one of the founders of the so-called Tulsa Sound, a swampy mix of blues, country and rock 'n' roll. The relaxed guitar sounds of J.J. Cale had a great influence on many guitarists, including Eric Clapton, so it's not strange that from his hands a tribute to J.J. Cale comes forth. It's not only that Clapton earlier recorded work from the bluesman, take for example such hits as "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," but the two also worked together regularly. Shortly before his death, Cale could be heard on Clapton's 2013 album "Old Sock" and in 2006 they won a Grammy for their album "The Road To Escondido."

On "The Breeze: An Appreciation Of JJ Cale," Clapton enlists the help of string virtuosos like Tom Petty, John Mayer, Mark Knopfler, and Don White. Willie Nelson sings along, as does Cale's wife Christine Lakeland, who provides backing vocals on "Crying Eyes." Everyone's singing and guitar style compliments the 16 compositions on this album impressively. Thus Mayer's rhythmic game works wonderfully on "Don't Wait," while his drawling vocals prove very suitable for the slightly country-fried version of "Magnolia." Knopfler infuses "Someday" with his signature guitar work and Nelson's fragile vocals enrich "Songbird" and "Starbound," although his somewhat nasal twang might not be to everyone's liking. Clapton is in great form himself on the funky "Cajun Moon." The biggest surprise comes in the form of the wonderful harmonies between Clapton and Petty on songs like "Rock And Roll Records," "The Old Man And Me" and "I Got The Same Old Blues."

That these men are kings of the six-string and give their guitars a good workout, they've made abundantly clear by the end of the record. Incidentally, the record is named after Cale's single "Call Me The Breeze" from 1972. But in his four-decade career, Cale recorded 15 albums and was an inspiration to a generation of artists like Clapton, so I only hope Clapton & Friends will do a follow-up to this album, which is a very worthy tribute to J.J. Cale's legacy indeed.

Tracks 1, 7 & 16 are from J.J. Cale's 1972 album "Naturally." Tracks 2, 6, 8, 11, 12 & 14 are from his 1974 album "Okie." Track 4 is from his 1973 album "Really." Track 5 is from his 1979 album "5." Track 10 is from his 2007 album "Rewind: The Unreleased Recordings." Track 15 is from his 1982 album "Grasshopper." Track 3 "Someday," track 9 "Songbird" and track 13 "Train To Nowhere" are previously unreleased Cale songs.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Aug 2014, 15:54:38 BST
Ron Hilton says:
Excellent review, thank you.I wholeheartedly endorse every comment you make DC. An additional one would be that these great guitarists in their humble respect and tribute for the great man, are to my ear, very sympathetic and almost restrained in their playing so as to bring out the focus on JJs compositions, ie although being top players themselves, they stay humbly and deliberately in his shadow. Nice respectful empathic tribute. Hilton Ron.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2014, 19:59:48 BST
D. C. Stolk says:
Thanks for the comment, Ron! Indeed, being such magnificent guitarists, they could easily have covered these songs much more in their own style, which no doubt would also have led to a great album, but a very different one. By staying true to the style of JJ Cale, they've made it into a true tribute. DCS.

Posted on 16 Aug 2014, 12:41:10 BST
J. Barton says:
I think the great Albert Lee could of been mentioned as he is present on this recording.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2014, 21:43:20 BST
D. C. Stolk says:
J. Barton, Albert Lee is mentioned on page 6 of the booklet that comes with the album, under the 'guitars' heading, and has played on track 1 (Eric Clapton vocals) and 11 (Eric Clapton and Don White vocals).

But if you meant in my review: in the booklet there's a long list of musicians and other people who helped put this album together. Sorry, but it's impossible to give every one of them a mention in my review, it would get way too long. DCS.
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