A Closer Walk With Thee

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Published on: February 7th, 2009
Recently I have received several calls and emails concerning the song "A Closer Walk With Thee" and in particular, which version I prefer. There are many excellent renditions of this beautiful tune and I will mention just two of my favorites. One was inquired about by Peter Lee in Sweden (but his email address was wrong so I could not respond). It was performed by Irvin Mayfield at the Lincoln Center Benefit Concert after Katrina and dedicated to his missing father who was lost in the storm. Some weeks later his father's body was eventually found. The Irvin Mayfield solo is simply a magnificent memory of that challenging time. The album is "Higher Ground" on the Blue Note label. The second was Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr., on another great album: "Marsalis Music Honors Bob French". It was Bob's idea that Branford and Harry should play without accompaniment --- and the result is nothing less than spectacular. They played the song again at the Jazz Fest at the show intended to celebrate both Bob French and Alvin Batiste. Tragically, Alvin passed away that morning and when Branford and Connick played it, there was not a dry eye in the WWOZ Jazz Tent. Another moving version is Terence Blanchard walking through devastated neighborhoods in New Orleans following the storm (it is on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkNtiL7tWIs). If you have any additional versions, please post a response. Jelly Roll Justice


Unfortunately, the strap to youtube for this song does not work.
I very regret it for I play it myself on my trumpet. My preferred is the one played by Teddy Buckner's Orchestra with...
Who knows the name of the band's marvellous clarinetist who plays "Just a closer walk with thee" ? I do.
Bluin' Regards to all musicians and lovers.

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