As we revealed back in April, Paul Simon’s 2018 album will feature new recordings of songs from his back solo catalogue. In The Blue Light, which was produced by Simon and legendary Simon & Garfunkel co-producer Roy Halee, takes its title from the opening line of Simon’s 1980 song “How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns.” High profile musicians on the set include jazz icons Wynton Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Steve Gadd and Jack DeJohnette, as well as New York-based modern chamber sextet yMusic, which is currently on the road with Simon and his band.
Simon said in a statement officially announcing the project: “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.”
The tracklisting for In the Blue Light is: “One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor,” “Love,” “Can’t Run But,” “How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns,” “Pigs, Sheep, And Wolves,” “Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After tThe War,” “The Teacher,” “Darling Lorraine,” “Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy,” “and “Questions For The Angels.”
Although he’s rated as one of the most serious singer/songwriters of his generation, Paul Simon has long wished that his humor would’ve shined a bit more brightly in his material: “Well, I always put some jokes into my songs, but sometimes they don’t. . . sometimes people don’t read ’em as jokes. I think that’s because most of the time people think of me as very serious, so they’re not expecting a joke to come. And also, there’s something about my voice that it doesn’t tip off a joke. It still sounds serious. I mean, it’s a quality that I wish I could have in my voice; a sense of irony or laughing.”
Photo Courtesy of Lester Cohen