Blues Legends Capture 'Lightning In A Bottle'
by Jonathan Cohen, billboard.com. Copyright © 2004 Billboard.
Two discs worth of highlights from the historic February 2003 "Salute to the Blues" concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall will hit stores this fall. "Lightning in a Bottle" is due Sept. 21 via Columbia/Legacy. A concert film of the same name, directed by Antoine Fuqua, open Oct. 15 2004 in U.S. theaters via Sony Classics.
The album was produced by Martin Scorsese, on the heels of his acclaimed multi-part PBS series "Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues." As he writes in the album's liner notes, "Through the generosity, enthusiasm and talent of an incredible, diverse array of musicians, the concert told the story of the blues, sketching its journey from Africa, up the Mississippi, to the cities of Memphis and Chicago, and from there to the world."
Indeed, "Lightning in a Bottle" features a host of notable pairings. James Blood Ulmer teams with Alison Krauss and the Band's Levon Helm on "Sittin' on top of the World," while veteran vocalist Odetta is backed by Dr. John, Ivan Neville and harmonica player Kim Johnson on "Jim Crow Blues." Natalie Cole, Mavis Staples and Ruth Brown join forces to sing "Men Are Just Like Street Cars," while Angelique Kidjo handles vocals on Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" with Buddy Guy, Keb' Mo' and Living Colour's Vernon Reid on guitar.
Among the other acts appearing on the album include B.B. King, John Fogerty, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, india.arie, Solomon Burke, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes, Robert Cray, Mos Def, Public Enemy's Chuck D and Macy Gray.
The package is enhanced with a poster-size photo inspired by the legendary 1958 Art Kane photo "A Great Day in Harlem," featuring 57 jazz living legends. Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders assembled all 62 of the evening's performers in the Radio City lobby for the shot.
Net proceeds from the CD and film will be donated to the Blues Music Foundation.