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Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton: Play the Blues: Live From Jazz at Lincoln Center

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In and around jazz and blues, there’s much more talk of purism than there are actual instances of it. When you hear jazz that flaunts a precise, ardent devotion to history you know it, and suddenly so much music that seemed old can be recognized as new. To accurately capture the spirit and technique of art from a removed time and place is much harder than it seems.

It’s within this historical reverence that trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis thrives alongside Eric Clapton, the guitar god whose commitment to American music extends far beyond blues-rock. (His acoustic homages to Robert Johnson, for one, are worthy of a period film.) The pair’s new 10-track CD, also available as a CD/DVD set, documents their collaborations over three nights in April at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, one evening of which was JALC’s spring fundraising gala.

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