Hal Wilner (sometimes spelt Willner on the web), the producer, has put together some extraordinary collaborations on his tribute records to Mingus, Nino Rota, Monk, Poe, Weill and Disney. What’s more, most of them work. One of my favourites is Ringo Starr, Ken Nordine, Bill Frisell, Herb Alpert and Wayne Horvitz doing “When You Wish Upon A Star” on Stay Awake: Interpretations of Vintage Disney Films (1988). On this CD you also can experience perhaps the segue to end all segues – Sun Ra to Harry Nilsson!
I was also lucky (and old) enough to see many of the 20 episodes of NBC’s Night Music with David Sanborn when Hal was Producer. Couplings such as Sonny Rollins with Leonard Cohen, or Phil Woods with the NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet) were not uncommon. Bring them out on DVD someone!
The collection of performers on Stay Awake is even more eclectic than Mr. Kieffer indicates. The CD also includes Suzanne Vega, Yma Sumac, Bonnie Raitt, The Replacements, Garth Hudson, Los Lobos, Betty Carter, Buster Poindexter and His Banshees of Blue, and James Taylor. Tom Waits sings, or rasps, “Heigh Ho” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Aaron Neville of Super Bowl notoriety does the “Mickey Mouse March.”
Herb Levy says
It’s true that Hal Willner’s last name is “sometimes spelt Willner on the Web”.
It also spelled this way on every one of the recordings mentioned that I’ve ever seen.
Perhaps this is simply how the man spells his last name, eh?
Saint Russell says
Night Music was a great show! Too bad a DVD is unlikely; clearing the rights to all that music would probably be too difficult and expensive to justify. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong about that.