Music Review: Two Men With the Blues

Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis. <i>Blue Note</i>.

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Short of smashing their instruments onstage, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis probably couldn’t shock an audience at this point. But this 2007 live set offers numerous subtle surprises as the artists nudge each other out of their comfort zones. Prodded by Marsalis’ swinging quintet, Nelson discovers inventive ways of phrasing lyrics he’s sung a zillion times before, including a sly “Stardust,” and he uncorks darting guitar solos that underscore his debt to Django Reinhardt. Though trumpet-master Marsalis can sometimes be too dignified for his own good, he’s delightfully playful here. Just check out the scorching fills on “Night Life.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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