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Jerry Jeff Jazz

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Jerry Jeff Walker’s 2003 album of jazz standards doesn’t so much depart from his older work as view it from a different angle. Walker’s Austin homebase has long been a blending pool of different musical forms, and the kind of jazz showcased on this album is deeply related to the Western swing acts that laid the foundation for Walker’s career in country music. So this style is a natural fit for the aging cowboy, and his resonant, ripened voice is at just the right stage to approach these timeless melodies. The backing band is sprightly but never schmaltzy. He brings a sweet mischievousness to Gershwin’s bouncy “But Not for Me” and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “It’s Always You,” but his husky, conversational vocals are best suited to ballads. His famously rowdy cowboy songs often disguised the fact that Walker is exceptional when operating at low volumes, a talent proven by “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “In the Wee Small Hours,” all of which recall the fragile folk songs Walker sang in the late '60s at the start of his career.


Born: 16 March 1942 in Oneonta, NY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jerry Jeff Walker is strongly associated with the progressive ("outlaw") country scene that centered around Austin, TX, in the 1970s and included such figures as Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, the Lost Gonzo Band, Waylon Jennings, and Townes Van Zandt. Ironically, however, Walker is not a native Texan. He was born Ronald Clyde Crosby in upstate New York and recorded his first several albums while living in New York City. He didn't move to Austin until 1971, but he's remained a major...
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Jerry Jeff Jazz, Jerry Jeff Walker
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