Green tells Billboard.com that he and the Roots have already laid down 15 songs at Electric Lady Studios in New York for the tentatively titled "The Duet Album."
Soul legend Al Green says it's been all love and happiness as he's worked on his next album -- a duets project helmed by Roots drummer Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson that will feature collaborations with Anthony Hamilton, D'Angelo and possibly Alicia Keys and/or Joss Stone.
Green tells Billboard.com that he and the Roots have already laid down 15 songs at Electric Lady Studios in New York for the tentatively titled "The Duet Album." Blue Note sources tell Billboard.com that they're trying to work out some studio time for Green in August, September and October. They hope the album will be finished by November, with an early 2008 release expected.
"It's turning out to be like fresh cream, man, like fresh milk from the cow's titty, baby," Green gushes. "We wrote these songs right off the (studio) floor and cut 'em right there that same day.
"It's the Roots band playing the music, producing the music, and they let Al sing what he sings and sing with these other people," he continues. "I've never heard anything quite like it, 'cause I've never had anybody produce me other than Willie Mitchell. And when you give these young kids a shot at it, it's interesting to see the art they make. It's beautiful."
Green says there is a pronounced hip-hop flavor to the music but here will be no rapping. "That's all you need. Don't mess with it, baby," he says.
Even though the album is "different than what I've been doing," Green is still making his familiar sweet soul music this summer as part of the B.B. King Blues Festival 2007, which also features Etta James. Green says the thrill is most definitely not gone in being on the road with King, who, like Green, established his career out of Memphis.
"He's the real-deal godfather, if you will, the real-deal person in reference to the blues," he says of King. "I mean, he played on Beale Street when he was young. And after all these years he's remained true to his calling and is still singing those songs people oughta love -- just like I do."