Willie Nelson - Night and Day
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Night and Day (Pedernales/FreeFall, 1999)

Willie Nelson

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

Willie Nelson's singular singing style long ago propelled him to legendary status. But what may have escaped all but his most intense fans was his equally unique guitar playing. That may change with the Texan's first instrumental album. Entirely acoustic and consisting of mostly jazz and pop standards, the 10 soothing cuts feature Nelson's fret work front and center.

His scarred, hole-worn Martin classical guitar is used exclusively. Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" and Walter Bullock and Jules Styne's "Vous et Moi" start the album on deeply spiritual notes. Swathed in subtlety, Nelson's guitar weaves through the intricate notes and comes out sounding like some gypsy romance is afoot. Toe-tapping trips through "Sweet Georgia Brown" and Cole Porter's "Night And Day" make for fine driving music. Or contemplative music. Good, honest music for those lazy days.

Nelson's richly woven "Bandera" along with "September In The Rain" and Fats Waller's "Honeysuckle Rose" point to Nelson's masterful guitar playing skills while exposing a part of his soul previously unseen.

Jazz fans, country fans...it doesn't get much better, with or without words.

CDs by Willie Nelson

That's Life, 2021 First Rose of Spring, 2020 Ride Me Back Home, 2019 My Way, 2018 Last Man Standing, 2018 Willie's Stash Volume 2, 2017 God's Problem Child, 2017 Summertime Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, 2016 Band of Brothers, 2014 To All the Girls..., 2013 Let's Face the Music and Dance, 2013 Freedom, 2012 Remember Me Vol. 1, 2011 Country Music, 2010 American Classic, 2009 Lost Highway, 2009 Naked Willie, 2009 One Hell of a Ride, 2008 Moment of Forever, 2008 Songbird, 2006 Live From Austin, TX, 2006 Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006 You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006

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