It's fitting that Chris and Morgane Stapleton open this homage to Waylon Jennings – they're a spiritual echo of Jennings and Jessi Colter, the duke and duchess of Seventies outlaw country, and emblematic of how the movement shaped generations of acts who chafe at Nashville conservatism but refuse to be marginalized. Recorded live in July 2015, this concert LP gathers Jennings' family and friends with all-star acolytes for the rarest of things: a tribute album that almost never flags, with performances that approach or match the originals.
It sat on the top of the country charts for 11 weeks and went double platinum, making it one of the biggest hits in either Waylon Jennings' or Willie Nelson's catalog. Years after its initial 1978 release, Waylon & Willie remains one of their biggest-selling albums, but its perennial popularity has more to do with their iconic status – something this album deliberately played up – than the quality of the music, which is, overall, merely good. Released in early 1978, a few months after Jennings' Ol' Waylon spent 13 weeks on the top of the charts in the summer of 1977, thanks in part to the hit single "Luckenbach, Texas" featuring a chorus sung by Nelson…
Siempre que puedo lo voy a ver», escribía hace unos meses Marco Mezquida en su página de Facebook sobre Bill McHenry. «Es muy inspirador y creo que tiene un sonido fuera de lo común, un lirismo y una inventiva sofisticada, siempre sincera y profunda. Es un poeta de verdad que, sin fuegos artificiales, ha desarrollado un discurso inventivo, inteligente y humorístico conectado con un conocimiento profundo de lo que toca.» Talento en erupción de la escena jazzística de Barcelona (debutó en el festival hace años durante un homenaje a Tete Montoliu).
My Secret Studio really isn't a secret, and never has been, unless you count the period of time when problems of life and surroundings seemed to make it impossible for Bill Nelson to actually get anything musical out into the open. His larger commercial connections had evaporated, his own label had been wracked by unethical behavior by his manager, and his life as a whole seemed to be one gigantically complex knot. Rather than letting these problems crushing the inspiration out of him, Nelson was energized by them. He might not have been able to release much of a anything for a while, but this didn't stop him from recording hundreds of new songs and instrumental pieces.
Small Town presents guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan in a program of duets, the poetic chemistry of their playing captured live at New York s hallowed Village Vanguard. Frisell made his debut as a leader for ECM in 1983 with the similarly intimate In Line. The guitarist's rich history with the label also includes multiple recordings by his iconic cooperative trio with Paul Motian and Joe Lovano, culminating in Time and Time Again in 2007. Small Town begins with a tribute to Motian in the form of a searching, 11-minute interpretation of the late drummer s composition It Should've Happened a Long Time Ago, the duo's counterpoint yielding a hushed power. Morgan has appeared on several ECM albums of late, as bassist of choice for Tomasz Stanko, Jakob Bro, David Virelles, Giovanni Guidi and Masabumi Kikuchi. Small Town sees Frisell and Morgan pay homage to jazz elder Lee Konitz with his Subconscious Lee, and there are several country/blues-accented Frisell originals, including the hauntingly melodic title track. The duo caps the set with an inimitable treatment of John Barry s famous James Bond theme Goldfinger.