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, will open Oct. 15 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.
Here is the track list for “Lightning in a Bottle”:
“Zelie,” Angelique Kidjo
“See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” Mavis Staples
“Gamblin’ Man,” David “Honeyboy” Edwards
“Love in Vain,” Keb’ Mo’
“Sittin’ on Top of the World,” James Blood Ulmer with Alison Krauss
“Jim Crow Blues,” Odetta
“St. Louis Blues,” Natalie Cole
“Men Are Just Like Street Cars,” Natalie Cole, Mavis Staples and Ruth Brown
“I Can’t Be Satisfied,” Buddy Guy
“Strange Fruit,” india.arie
“Hound Dog,” Macy Gray
“Midnight Special,” John Fogerty
“Where’d You Get That Sound,” Larry Johnson
“Okie Dokie Stomp,” Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
“Coming Home,” Bonnie Raitt
“The Sky Is Crying,” Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes
“I’m a King Bee,” Steven Tyler and Joe Perry
“First Time I Met The Blues,” Buddy Guy
“Big Chief,” the Neville Brothers
“I Pity the Fool,” Shemekia Copeland and Robert Cray
“Killing Floor,” David Johansen and Hubert Sumlin
“Turn on Your Love Light,” Solomon Burke
“Down in the Valley,” Solomon Burke
“Voodoo Chile,” Angelique Kidjo, Buddy Guy and Vernon Reid
“Minnesota Blues,” Mos Def
“(No) Boom Boom,” Chuck D and the Fine Arts Militia
“Sweet Sixteen,” B.B. King