Live music fans rejoice: our new, star-studded album United We Swing captures electric improvisers such as Eric Clapton, Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, John Mayer, and Lenny Kravitz playing live alongside the Wynton Marsalis Septet. Together, these jazz, rock, and blues legends form the be-all and end-all of jam bands, putting on a series of indelible live performances that are captured on United We Swing.
The performances were originally put on at fundraising galas designed to support Jazz at Lincoln Center's education initiatives (100% of this album's proceeds also support that cause). Now, for the first time, these recordings are being released to a wider audience than the crowds who originally packed the intimate venues where these artists jammed.
In most cases, the guest artists only rehearsed twice (the day before and the day of) with the Septet before stepping onstage with Marsalis and his septet. They were talented and adaptive enough to perform such polished renditions of both their originals and jazz standards. In their own words:
Derek Trucks on United We Swing:
“When you get a call from Wynton to play… of course I’ll be there. We’re [Susan and Derek] both big fans of all types of music—jazz being a huge part of what we both do. When you get a chance to support one of the great American art forms... and that’s so involved in education… we have two young kids—so, it’s all part of the deal.”
John Mayer (now currently touring with Dead & Company) on his history with jazz:
"I love jazz and I don't think I would be approaching the music that I make with the same kind of passion if it wasn't for jazz music. It's a sound and it's also an approach."
Ashley Schiff Ramos, who produced the album and worked on the live performances from which the record is culled, recalls Derek's trading bars with trombonist Wycliffe Gordon as one of the most spontaneous and joyful moments she witnessed onstage. Kravitz's lengthy, New Orleans street parade-inspired take on his own "Are You Gonna Go My Way" also turns into an extended jam, with a bluesy solo from his own longtime lead guitarist Craig Ross.
United We Swing is available for pre-order now, and 100% of the proceeds go toward Jazz at Lincoln Center's education initiatives, which introduce thousands of young students to jazz each year. Pick up this piece of American musical history and support a good cause today!