Monday, 2 March 2009


If, at the end of the end of the year, I compile a "Ten Best List", I guarantee that this concert movie, directed by Danny Clinch, will be on it. Now, as my friends know, I am a huge fan of Country singer Willie Nelson but this film goes far beyond my admiration for the artist. On the same day I watched a DVD of the LAST OF THE BREED concert featuring Nelson alongside Merle Haggard and Ray Price and, while excellent, it in no way impressed me as a piece of film=making. Despite its rather unimaginative (but entirely accurate) title, Clinch has produced a film as exciting as the music it depicts and the concert it records. Although Wynton Marsalis is a world renowned jazz trumpeter, I was only familiar with his recordings of the Haydn Trumpet Concertos. Here Marsalis and Nelson collaborate on a dozen or so renditions of songs that range from classic blues, standards like "Stardust" and "Georgia on my Mind" to Nelson compositions such as "Night-Life". The interpretations are far from standard and every performance is a gem with the mutual admiration of the musicians evident not only from the music itself but also from the interviews. Give yourself a real treat, it doesn't come much better than this. Rating *****

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

That sounds like a winner. I own absolutely nothing Wynton Marsalis has ever recorded so that makes me totally unfamiliar with his music. I must admit that I've always found him to be rather annoying in documenataries such as in the equally annoying Ken Burns' JAZZ documentary in which Marsalis seemed to be the only "go to" guy for Ken Burns; the director constantly cut back to Wynton Marsalis as if the man had been present during the entire history of jazz. Of course, that's not really Marsalis' fault, it's Ken Burns' lousy documentary filmmaking ability. But that's neither here nor there. A funny anecdote around the release of Ken Burns' JAZZ series on DVD -- while I was working at a well-known chain a customer saw the JAZZ dvd box set on a shelf and said, to no one in particular, "That Ken Burns don't no SHIT about jazz!"

But all that has nothing to do with THIS concert film which I look forward greatly to seeing. It truly looks remarkable.