Willie Nelson- My Way (2018)

FrontCover1.jpgA Country singer can´t sing Frank Sinatra …no ! But if a Country is Willie Nelson … yes !

My Way is the sixty-eighth solo studio album by Willie Nelson. It was released on September 14, 2018, by Legacy Recordings. The album is a tribute to Frank Sinatra, who was a close friend of Nelson’s. The album received the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, marking Nelson’s 13th career Grammy win.

Nelson first teased the album on April 27, 2018, while promoting his album Last Man Standing in an article published by Variety, saying that the Great American Songbook “is a deep well, because good songs never die. If it was good a hundred years ago, it’s still good today.”

The album was formally announced on July 19, 2018. It is a collection of songs closely associated with Frank Sinatra, whom Nelson first heard at 10 years old when Sinatra joined the radio program Your Hit Parade. Nelson and Sinatra were close friends and mutual admirers of each other’s work. In the 1980s, the pair performed on the same bill at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and appeared together in a public service announcement for the Space Foundation.

The album’s first single, “Summer Wind”, was released on the same day, along with its accompanying music video.

On August 24, 2018, “I’ll Be Around” was released as the album’s second single, with its music video premiering the same day.

The third single from the album, “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)”, was released on September 10, 2018, along with its music video. (by wikipedia)

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Ever since 1978’s Stardust, standards albums have been part of Willie Nelson’s arsenal, but 2018’s My Way presents a twist on this shopworn tradition: it’s designed as a tribute to Frank Sinatra. Album-long tributes to Sinatra aren’t uncommon — Bob Dylan devoted much of the 2010s to recording a series of tributes to him — but My Way stands apart from the pack by capturing both the rakish charm of the Chairman of the Board and Nelson’s sly elegance. Nelson balances standards from the Great American Songbook (“A Foggy Day,” “Blue Moon,” “Night and Day,” “Young at Heart”) with songs written with Sinatra in mind (“Fly Me to the Moon,” “Summer Wind,” “It Was a Very Good Year,” “My Way”), which brings My Way closer to the essence of Frank Sinatra than Dylan’s stylized saloon records. This is light and breezy, music that suggests the swinging heyday of Sinatra without ever quite sounding like a dusty old Capitol LP, not even the horns are sighing and blaring. Chalk that up to Nelson, who sounds limber if a bit scraggly, both in his voice and on his guitar. There’s a wry, insouciant charm to his performances: he knows how to ratchet up the drama in “It Was Very Good Year,” realizes “My Way” is irresistible hokum, and slides into the calming melody of “Summer Wind.” Unlike Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, Nelson’s limitations aren’t a hindrance, and the arrangements aren’t excessively polite, which means My Way is an appealingly light record: it’s performed with more affection than reverence. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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It’s about the band here, also. That driving, fat bass by David Piltch, who gives these straight-forward arrangements a strong foundation. The sparse, but so distinctive piano phrases by Matt Rollings (Lyle Lovett’s long time band member), who did the arrangements in a delightfully direct, fresh way. The tiny whiny harmonica occoupying the upper range. Some subtle guitars by Dean Parks and the master himself. Precise horns and a topping of strings if needed. All the schmalz is gone here, remains all the the fresh wind and this very unique Willie Nelson way of blowing the dust off these old songs. (Alexander Ziemann)

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Personnel:
Jay Bellerose (drums)
Jeff Coffin (saxophone)
Paul Franklin (pedal steel-guitar)
Barry Green (trombone)
Mike Haynes (trumpet)
Chris McDonald (trombone)
Doug Moffet (saxophone)
Willie Nelson (guitar, vocals)
Dean Parks (guitar)
Steve Patrick (trumpet)
David Piltch (bass)
Mickey Raphael (harmonica)
Matt Rollings (keyboards)
Denis Solee (saxophone)
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Norah Jones (vocals on 09.)
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strings:
Monisa Angell – Janet Darnall – David Davidson – Conni Ellisor – Alicia Enstrom –
Anthony La Marchina – Betsy Lamb -Carole Rabinowitz – Sari Reist – Kristin Wilkinson – Karen Winkelmann

strings arranged by Kristin Wilkinson

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Tracklist:
01. Fly Me To “he Moon (Howard) 2:44
02. Summer Wind (Meier/Mercer) 3:23
03. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (Arlen/Mercer) 3:59
04. A Foggy Day (G.Gershwin(I.Gershwin) 2:57
05. It Was A Very Good Year (Drake) 3:56
06. Blue Moon (Rodgers/Hart) 2:37
07. I’ll Be Around (Wilder) 2:59
08. Night And Day (Porter) 2:48
09. What Is This Thing Called Love? (Porter) 2:27
10. Young At Heart (Richards/Leigh) 2:46
11. My Way (Anka/François/Revaux) 4:49

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Paul Winter – Icarus (1972)

FrontCover1.jpgThis 1972 classic captures saxophonist Paul Winter and his ensemble at the height of their improvisational powers. Winter was one of the first artists to incorporate such exotic instruments as the sitar and tabla into his music and the result was memorable chamber jazz-folk played in the wonderfully experimental, post-hippie way only Winter and his merry band could. The title track, one of guitarist Ralph Towner’s compositions, became famous for its pensive melody and soaring soprano sax. “Whole Earth Chant” is a piece that foreshadows New Age artists like Loreena McKennitt with its echoing tribal drums interwoven with ominous distorted guitar. And “Minuit” downright borders on what today some would call world music–it features a choir of voices singing a simple, sauntering melody taken from a Guinean folk song. Classic early ’70s Winter. (Karen Karleski)

This superb album was not widely known in the seventies in my part of the world, yet these brilliant musicians captivated me with this wonderful music played almost entirely with acoustic instruments, & I have never tired of this album. To this day I do not know anything of their backgrounds, or their previous & later works. My appreciation of this record has remained pure & simple. This work is dated 1972, a year of shining musical inspirations.

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When we think of acoustic, we tend to picture acoustic guitars, but just look at the line-up of instruments. Soprano saxophone,cello,oboe,English horn,contrabass Sarrusophone,classical guitar,12-string guitar,Regal,bush organ,Fender bass,conga,tabla,mridangam,surdos,traps,kettledrums,bass marimba,sitar,resonator guitar,& Ghanaian percussion.

The first track titled “Icarus” immediately carries the listener aloft on the air currents & has him/her sailing amongst clouds. One doesn’t really come down again until the final track of this album. Next a track with a peculiar title “Ode to a Fillmore Dressing Room” has the unusual combination of sitar,classical guitar,& jazz bass playing in harmony, with tabla drums also,a remarkable performance. Then a simple but deep song with piano accompaniment,”The Silence of a Candle” reflects one man’s journey within himself, followed by more soaring sensation from tracks with titles such as “Sunwheel”,”Whole Earth Chant”,& “All the Mornings Bring”. I find the use of soprano sax,oboe,& cello as lead instruments rather refreshing in a music market dominated by electric rock.

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The album ends with a truly beautiful West African folk song “Minuit”, which just might remain in your head,& in your heart, for evermore. For me this music always seems like a celebration of the Earth, of Nature, & of Humanity. What more can one say? If you seek just one album of acoustic instrumental music for your collection,”Icarus” may very well fulfill that need wonderfully. (Stephen Keen)

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Personnel:
Herb Bushler (bass)
David Darling (cello, vocals)
Paul McCandless (oboe, english horn, bass, sarrusophone, vocals)
Ralph Towner (guitar, piano, regal, bush organ, vocals)
Collin Walcott (conga, tabla, mridangam, surdos, traps, kettledrums, bass marimba, sitar)
Paul Winter (saxophone, vocals)
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Barry Altschul (percussion on 08.)
Larry Atamanuik (traps on 01.)
Billy Cobham (traps on 04. + 06.)
Milt Holland (Ghanaian percussion on 06.)
Andrew Tracey – resonator guitar, voice (‘Minuit’)
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vocals on 09:
Janet Johnson – Paul Stookey – Bob Milstein

Booklet

Tracklist:
01. Icarus (Towner) 3.04
02. Ode To A Fillmore Dressing Room (Darling) 5.35
03. The Silence Of A Candle (Towner) 3.28
04. Sunwheel (Towner) 4.43
05. Juniper Bear (Walcott/Towner) 3.05
06. Whole Earth Chant (Winter) 7.43
07. All The Mornings Bring (McCandless) 3.53
08. Chehalis And Other Voices (Towner) 5.29
09. Minuit (Winter/Fodeba) 3.10

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