Clapton & Marsalis: Red Hot Jazz

In the summer of 1997, Eric Clapton dipped his toe in the waters of jazz with David Sanborn, Marcus Miller, Steve Gadd and Joe Sample. On 8 April 2011, Eric Clapton jumped in head first at the deep end for a night of red hot jazz at New York City’s Rose Theater. If music fans are lucky, he’ll stay in these waters for a good long time. Although it is only April, the concert definitely is up there for "gig of the year" honors. During the show, Eric told the audience that when he was young, he would tell other musicians, "I’m just doing this (playing the blues) until I can get a gig in a jazz band" and that it took a lot of courage for him to sit in the chair on stage tonight. Well, he certainly got his wish to be in a jazz band and what a gig it was!

Special guest Taj Mahal opened the show with a few songs before EC, Marsalis, Chris Stainton and members of the JALC Orchestra took the stage for a 90 minute performance. Taj Mahal joined them for the last two songs of the evening. The music was selected by EC and arranged by Marsalis. The set list was:

Ice Cream
Joe Turner’s Blues
The Last Time
Careless Love
Kidman Blues
Joliet Bound
Just A Closer Walk With Thee
Corrine Corrina (encore)

A press release distributed before the show stated that the 10 song set would be drawn from a list of 13 songs. The three not performed were "Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out," "When Somebody Thinks You’re Wonderful" and "Taint Nobody’s Biz-ness". For most of the evening, EC played a tobacco sunburst Gibson 335.

One of New York City’s newer music venues, the acoustics were suberb. The show was filmed for DVD.

Here’s what some fans told the Where’s Eric! Team on their way out of the venue:
Eric should take this show on the road!
Tonight’s performance is another watershed moment in his career, possibly more importantly musically than Unplugged was.
Eric hasn’t played this freely in a long-time, you could tell he was having fun and feeding off of all the musicians on stage.
EC should do two weeks of shows like this here in New York; I’d be here every night.
Can’t wait for the DVD to come out so I can relive every minute!

Another performance follows at the venue on Saturday, 9 April.

Band Lineup:
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Wynton Marsalis – trumpet
Marcus Printup – trumpet
Chris Crenshaw – trombone
Victor Goines – clarinet
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Dan Nimmer – piano
Carlos Henriquez – bass
Ali Jackson – drums
Don Vappie – banjo
Special Guest: Taj Mahal – guitar / vocals

Did you attend the Friday concert or are you attending Saturday? Why not send your review to Where’s Eric!? To help keep your fellow fans informed, email the following details to
– Show date
– Your review
– Be sure to include your name and city so it can be featured with your review (no aliases or anonymous submissions, please. Upon request, we will use your first name and surname initial only.)
– Feel free to include information about EC’s guitars, amps and effects pedals
– You can also send your photos from the concert or of memorabilia. Things like tickets, handbills, programmes, posters or local concert advertising (the best photos may be even be published in Where’s Eric! Magazine). All photos should be at least 500K in file size; sending your original, unedited images is best.

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