To coincide with the final dates of his farewell tour, Paul Simon will release his 14th solo studio album — called “In the Blue Light” — on September 7, Legacy Recordings announced today. The album features new versions, or, as the announcement says, “fresh perspectives on 10 of the artist’s favorite (though perhaps less-familiar) songs” from across Simon’s solo career.
“This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around,” Simon said in a statement. “Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realize what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”
Musicians joining Simon for the re-interpretations include trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd, as well as the chamber ensemble sextet yMusic, who are performing with on tour.
The songs originally appeared on the albums “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” (1973), “Still Crazy After All These Years” (1975), “One-Trick Pony” (1980), “Hearts and Bones” (1983), “The Rhythm of the Saints” (1990), “You’re the One” (2000) and “So Beautiful Or So What” (2011).
Simon explains in the album’s liner notes, “It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and re-think them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals.
“Happily, this opportunity also gave me the gift of playing with an extraordinary group of musicians, most of whom I hadn’t recorded with before. I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home.”
Simon’s farewell tour (read Variety’s review of the Hollywood show here) concludes with four concerts in New York City, including a last show on Sept. 22 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, just minutes from the neighborhood in which Simon and longtime musical partner Art Garfunkel grew up. It would be surprising if Garfunkel were not involved in the final show.
“In the Blue Light: track list:
“One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor”
“Can’t Run But”
“How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns”
“Pigs, Sheep and Wolves”
“René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War”
“Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy”
“Questions for the Angels”