Eric Clapton Talks and Plays Jazz with Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis plays jazz with Eric Capton

So much great music is accessible to us nowadays via the Web and YouTube. But Eric Clapton playing and talking jazz? Along with Wynton Marsalis! With an arrangement of his very own song, Layla, which proves that Jazz still works today!

Yes jazz fans, it’s true! And surely it demonstrates that jazz isn’t a lost cause, a whimsy of the 20s and 30s and the era of the Great Depression. Because is never was a whimsy and what began in New Orleans early last century is still with us today and its here to stay. And when the media demigods come to accept that fact, with a little more help from stars like Eric Clapton, surely it will revive and thrive again.

As an introduction to the very special arrangement of Layla, Eric pays respect to Wynton and his band: “how much it means to me to play with this bunch of guys, musicians that I’ve respected and admired for as long as I can remember and to become friends and play alongside the wonderful Wynton Marsalis who is a genius and a giant. … He’s encouraged me all along to find my way into this thing because Jazz to me was always forbidden.

“Whenever I met the great blues people I used to admire … I would say ‘I’m just doing this until I can get a gig in a jazz band’. There was something about jazz and there always will be in my heart that puts it somewhere up there with the gods … it’s refined … sophisticated … and has a lot of humour and depth. It speaks to everybody on the planet.

“So for me to be able to come in here and try to make my little jingly stuff work … it took a lot of courage to sit on this stage and be accepted by these guys … the feeling up here is fantastic and I’m really grateful. This tune [Layla] was foisted on me by Carlos behind me here who thought it would be a good idea …I didn’t think it would work but it sounds great.”

After some talking to the audience by Clapton, which is very rare, the band play a fantastic New Orleans version of Clapton’s most famous song. Recorded April 2011, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York City.

Wynton and Eric went on to play “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” but, sadly,  that YouTube is no longer available.

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