Leon Russell - Life Journey [LP]
''This is a record of my musical journey though this life. It reflects pieces of things that I have done and things I never did... Nearing the close of my
adventure, I feel that I may be the luckiest guy in the world.''
- Leon Russell, liner notes to Life Journey
It seems like there's almost nothing Leon Russell hasn't done. The Tulsa-born pianist and songwriter came to prominence as a member of Phil Spector's
legendary studio band and a session player who recorded with everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones. He was one of the highlights of George
Harrison's historic ''Concert for Bangladesh'' and produced several songs for Bob Dylan. During the 1970s, his own albums - released on his own
pioneering label, Shelter Records - made him one of the biggest concert draws in America, and he wrote two songs that would go on to become true
modern standards: ''Superstar'' (co-written with Bonnie Bramlett) and ''A Song For You.''
Yet even for Leon Russell, the Life Journey album is an impressively wide-ranging tour of American music. The album's twelve selections range from
compositions by such giants as Robert Johnson (''Come On In My Kitchen'') and Duke Ellington (''I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good'') to such incomparable
standards as ''Georgia on My Mind'' and ''That Lucky Old Sun'' to more contemporary tunes like Billy Joel's ''New York State of Mind,'' with a couple of
Russell's own songs to cap it all off.
The making of Life Journey began when Russell ran into producer Tommy LiPuma at the Montreux Jazz Festival. ''I first met Tommy fifty years ago,''
explains Russell. ''He was one of the first guys I met when I went to LA when I was 17. He launched George Benson with one of my songs (''This
Masquerade''), he worked with Diana Krall, he just finished with Paul McCartney - he's done a lot of amazing stuff, so I asked if he might want to work on
this record. I was afraid he might have jazz damage, but he turned out to be quite a blues hound, an all-around musical guy.''
(1) Come On In My Kitchen [[blank]], (2) Big Lips, (3) Georgia On My Mind, (4) That Lucky Old Sun, (5) Fever, (6) Think Of Me, (7) I Got It Bad And That
Ain't Good, (8) I'm Afraid The Masquerade Is Over, (9) I Really Miss You, (10) New York State Of Mind, (11) Fool's Paradise, (12) Down In Dixieland