Willie Nelson – American Classic Blue Note 67197 (2009)
These “standards” albums are so common, that you almost expect that mild-mannered jazz combos record piles of them just to leave “in the can,” waiting for celebrity vocalists to come along and drop in some singing on top. Willie Nelson has done plenty of these before (Stardust, Healing Hands of Time, etc.), this one merely in the format of the revived Blue Note Records pop jazz aesthetic. It’s stripped of any real charisma, ensuring that it’s a real snoozer. Yet, this one’s professional through-and-through. My mom would sure enjoy this, as she loves vapid, lowest common denominator, boring housewife sort of albums like this and Rod Stewart‘s It Had to Be You… The Great American Songbook. But I’m selling this short! It is also suited as background music for a genteel businessman’s cocktail lounge or a waiting room.