Jim James, the frontman for My Morning Jacket, has shared his cover of jazz singer Abbey Lincoln’s “The World Is Falling Down” which features on his forthcoming new covers album Tribute To 2, due Out December 8 via ATO. The song was the title track of her 1991 album released on Verve which saw her voice matched with some of the best jazz players around including flugelhornist Clark Terry and alto-saxophonist Jackie McLean. It’s a beautiful tribute to Lincoln who was frequently likened to her hero Billie Holiday, she was a civil rights advocate and activist from the 1960s on. She famously sang on Max Roach’s 1960 We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite. She would later marry Roach in 1962. Although she died in 2010 she was professionally active for most her life releasing Abbey Sings Abbey in 2007. She also ventured into acting with parts in The Girl Can’t Help It and Gentleman Prefer Blondes as well as Spike Lee movie Mo’ Better Blues.
Talking about the song James said “Even though she released this song in 1991 it felt so relevant to right now,” James explained. “I think so many of us feel the world is falling apart right now – that the powers that be are trying to divide us and rip us apart … when I heard that song it just resonated deeply because there is such pain there but I feel she also is offering hope and realization that we need each other’s help in times of crisis.”
Although the title of James’ new album suggests a follow-up to his 2009 Tribute To which featured songs by George Harrison and the Beatles (recorded on an eight-track, reel-to-reel tape recorder in the days following Harrison’s passing), Tribute To 2 was recorded over a period of years – in different places, with different gear and varied instrumentation.
The breadth of the album is a lot wider featuring covers of songs by The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Sonny & Cher, Bob Dylan and Ray Noble & Al Bowlly.
James explains, “These are some of my favorite covers – songs I recorded trying to bring myself peace during a rough time or trying to make myself laugh or just have fun. I hope others can relate and enjoy the journey during these tough times and hopefully in times of peace and love as well!”
On December 8, ATO Records will also reissue 2009’s Tribute To with new cover art and a bonus track – James’ cover of Bob Dylan’s “If Not For You”, which was also recorded in the original 2001 session.
Tribute To 2 is to be released 8th December via ATO Records
Tribute To 2 – Track Listing
1. I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times – by The Beach Boys
2. Baby Don’t Go – by Sonny & Cher
3. Wild Honey – by Diane Izzo
4. Midnight, the Stars and You – by Ray Noble & Al Bowlly
5. Crying in the Chapel – by The Orioles
6. Funny How Time Slips Away – by Willie Nelson
7. Love is the Sweetest Thing – by Ray Noble & Al Bowlly
8. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight – by Bob Dylan
9. Lucky Man – by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
10. The World is Falling Down – by Abbey Lincoln
11. Blue Skies – by Irving Berlin
Tribute To – Reissue Track Listing
1. Long, Long, Long – by George Harrison
2. Behind That Locked Door – by George Harrison
3. Love You To – by George Harrison
4. My Sweet Lord – by George Harrison
5. Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) – by George Harrison
6. All Things Must Pass – by George Harrison
7. If Not For You [Bonus Track] – by Bob Dylan