James Taylor and Peter Gabriel Highlight Leonard Cohen Tribute LP
James Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Iggy Pop and Mavis Staples highlight the upcoming album Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, out Oct. 14 on the revered jazz label Blue Note Records.
Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, David Gray and Nathaniel Rateliff will also sing one song each on the 12-track record, which features a core backing band of guitarist Bill Frisell, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Nate Smith, with guest spots from Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar) and Larry Goldings (organ). In a statement, producer Larry Klein described those players as some of "the most prescient and forward-looking musicians in the jazz world.”
Blue Note previewed the album with Taylor’s warm and spacious version of the love song "Coming Back to You," which appears on Cohen’s 1984 record, Various Positions.
You can preorder the album in multiple formats and hear the track below.
"When Larry Klein invited me to participate in a Leonard Cohen tribute album, I accepted immediately,” Taylor said in a statement. “Both because Larry is a great producer of excellent recordings and a good friend, and because, like almost everyone in my generation, I venerate Leonard Cohen. As soon as I began seeking out my own musical preferences, Cohen’s songs were among my few favorites and had a major influence on my own progression as a songwriter."
Klein noted that Here It Is developed as an extension of his friendship with the late songwriter, who died in 2016 at age 82. “Leonard Cohen had been a friend since 1982 or so, and in the last 15 years of his life, he became a close friend,” Klein said. “He was possibly the wisest and funniest friend that I had, and someone that I enjoyed, immensely, in every way. After he passed away, I found myself frequently covering his songs with other artists that I was working with. One reason, of course, is that the songs are so good — in a certain way, Leonard is the best pop songwriter ever — but the other reason was that it helped keep him in the air around me."
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song, a new documentary based on Alan Light's book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of Hallelujah, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June.
'Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen' Track Listing
1. Norah Jones - "Steer Your Way"
2. Peter Gabriel - "Here It Is"
3. Gregory Porter - "Suzanne"
4. Sarah McLachlan - "Hallelujah"
5. Immanuel Wilkins - "Avalanche"
6. Luciana Souza - "Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye"
7. James Taylor - "Coming Back to You"
8. Iggy Pop - "You Want It Darker"
9. Mavis Staples - "If It Be Your Will"
10. David Gray - "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy"
11. Nathaniel Rateliff - "Famous Blue Raincoat"
12. Bill Frisell - "Bird on The Wire"