Willie Nelson

American Classic – 2009 (Blue Note)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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Though Willie Nelson is revered as one of the greatest singer/songwriters in country music history he has never been confined to that genre as this collection exemplifies.

Nelson covers pop standards as he did on his 1978 release "Stardust." Amongst the most effective are tunes on which Nelson is joined by noted jazz performers Diana Krall (If I Had You ) and Norah Jones (Baby, It's Cold Outside ).

Other highlights are Fly Me To The Moon and On The Street Where You Live . The one deviation from the pop standard format is a new jazzy take on Always On My Mind , a modest hit for Elvis Presley in 1972 that was a number 1 country hit for Nelson in 1982.