| LONDON, July 29
LONDON, July 29 A year after the death of
American cult singer-songwriter JJ Cale, his close friend Eric
Clapton has launched a tribute with an album and documentary
featuring the likes of Willie Nelson and Mark Knopfler.
"The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale" features 16
interpretations of Cale's typically laid-back repertoire and is
named after a 1972 release "Call Me The Breeze". The documentary
is being shown on U.S. cable networks.
Cale, who died on July 26, 2013 at the age of 74, was one of
those musicians who, although not a household name, was highly
influential with his peers and closely followed by groups of
Two of his best-known songs - "After Midnight" and "Cocaine"
- were covered by Clapton on the latter's 1970 eponymous debut
album and his 1977 album "Slowhand", although neither appears on
the latest offering.
The two men's musical collaboration, stretching back to the
1970s, included recording a studio album together - the 2006
"Road to Escondido" - and Cale performing at the first
Crossroads Guitar Festival, Clapton's showcase for some of the
world's top guitarists.
Clapton, among the most acclaimed and high-profile rock
guitarists since the mid-1960s, reckons Cale was underrated by
the public. "I would like people to tap into what JJ Cale did -
that's the point (of the new album)," he said in a statement.
"I try to interpret things so that the public at large, or
at least the people who listen to what I do, will become
intrigued about where I got it from."
As well as by Clapton, Cale's work has been covered in some
form over the years by musicians as diverse as "outlaw" country
singer Waylon Jennings, southern hard rockers Lynryd Skynryd,
and the neo-psychaedelic Spiritualized.
The new album is reminiscent of Clapton's early days as a
solo artist after his work with 1960s supergroups Cream and
Blind Faith. It is less traditionally bluesy than the
69-year-old Briton's more recent fare.
It harks back to the Tulsa Sound, a mix of lighter blues,
country, rock and jazz that hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma, the
state where Cale was born. Others notables of the genre are Leon
Russell and Elvin Bishop.
"The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale" features Clapton,
Nelson, Knopfler, Tom Petty, Albert Lee, John Mayer, Don White
and Jim Keltner among others.
(Editing by Mark Heinrich)