“This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around. 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.”—Paul Simon, July 2018
Legendary songwriter, recording artist and performer Paul Simon will release his 14th studio album—In The Blue Light
—on September 7. Produced by Simon and Roy Halee, who have worked together since the 1960s, the album features a talented cast of musicians who have joined Simon to lend fresh perspectives on 10 of the artist's favorite (though perhaps less-familiar) songs, drawn from his unparalleled body of work.
Revisiting his repertoire, Simon has selected songs originally appearing on 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), refreshing and transforming the compositions through new arrangements and collaborations.
Among the many musicians joining Simon on In The Blue Light
are jazz icons trumpeter Wynton Marsalis
, guitarist Bill Frisell
, and drummers Jack DeJohnette
and Steve Gadd
. Two of the compositions recorded with the New York-based chamber ensemble sextet yMusic, “Can’t Run But” and “Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War,” are being brought to the stage each night as show-stopping highlights on Simon’s Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour.
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.”
The release of In The Blue Light
on September 7 coincides with the final leg of Homeward Bound—Farewell Tour in September, including four performances in the New York City area and culminating with the Final Performance on September 22 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The credits for Paul Simon’s In The Blue Light
are as follows: Words and Music by Paul Simon
1. One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor. Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion; Joel Wenhardt
: Piano; Nate Smith
: Drums; Jim Oblon
: Guitar; John Patitucci
: Bass; Edie Brickell: Finger Snaps; CJ Camerieri: Trumpet; Andy Snitzer
2. Love. Paul Simon: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Harmonium; Bill Frisell
: Electric Guitar; Steve Gadd
: Drums; Renaud Garcia-Fons
3. Can't Run But. Paul Simon: Vocal; With yMusic; Arrangement by Bryce Dessner based on the original arrangement from Rhythm of the Saints by Marco Antônio Guimarães.
4. How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns. Paul Simon: Vocal; Sullivan Fortner
: Piano; Nate Smith: Drums; John Patitucci: Bass; Wynton Marsalis
5. Pigs, Sheep and Wolves. Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion; Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet; Marcus Printup
: Trumpet; Dan Block
: Clarinet; Walter Blanding
: Saxophone; Wycliffe Gordon
: Tuba; Chris Crenshaw
: Trombone; Marion Felder
: Drums; Herlin Riley
: Tambourine; Arrangement by Wynton Marsalis.
6. René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War. Paul Simon: Vocal, Electric Guitar; With yMusic; Arrangement by Robert Sirota.
7. The Teacher. Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion; Odair Assad
: Guitar; Sergio Assad
: Guitar; Renaud Garcia-Fons: Bass, Percussion; Walter Blanding: Saxophone; Jamey Haddad
8. Darling Lorraine. Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion; Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar; Vincent Nguini: Electric Guitar; Mark Stewart: Acoustic Guitar; Steve Gadd: Drum; John Patitucci: Bass; With yMusic; Arrangement by Rob Moose.
9. Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy. Paul Simon: Vocal; Sullivan Fortner: Piano, Celeste; Jack DeJohnette: Drums; John Patitucci: Bass; Joe Lovano
10. Questions For The Angels. Paul Simon: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Harmonica, Percussion; Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar; Sullivan Fortner: Harmonium, Chromelodeon; John Patitucci: Bass; Skip LaPlante: Percussion; yMusic is; CJ Camerieri: trumpet, piccolo trumpet; Alex Sopp: flute, alto flute; Hideaki Aomori: clarinet, bass clarinet; Rob Moose: violin; Nadia Sirota: viola; Gabriel Cabezas: cello.
About Paul Simon
Having created a distinctive and beloved body of work that includes 14 studio albums, plus five studio albums as half of Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon is the recipient of 16 Grammy Awards, three of which—Bridge over Troubled Water, Still Crazy after All These Years
, and Graceland
—were Album of the Year honorees. In 2003, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Simon & Garfunkel, and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
During his unparalleled career, Simon has achieved 29 Top 40 singles in the U.S. alone, with 14 of those reaching the Top 10 or higher, including “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” (which reached #1), “Kodachrome,” “Loves Me Like A Rock,” “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Late In The Evening,” “You Can Call Me Al” and many others. With Simon & Garfunkel, he wrote and performed the #1 singles, “The Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and numerous other timeless hits.
Paul Simon is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, both as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist. Simon was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2002 and was named one of Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World” in 2006. In 2007, Simon was awarded the inaugural Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. And in 2012, he was named the recipient of the prestigious Polar Music Prize along with classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma.