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Critics' Choice
WILLIE GETS HIGH ON GERSHWIN
2/5/16

Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, the subtitle of a new Sony Legacy set called Summertime (due 2/26), is one of those ideas that's at once outside-the-box and perfectly logical.

Which explains why the music icon received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last year.

Nelson's masterful, nuanced way with a song and the jazzy inflections of his guitar are a perfect match for this breezy slate of standards.

Taking on perennials like "Someone to Watch Over Me," "It Ain't Necessarily So, "I Got Rhythm" (which gets a rambling Western-swing treatment), "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and the title track, among others, Nelson casts a dappled-sunshine glow on some very well-trod ground. Guests Cyndi Lauper and Sheryl Crow, meanwhile, bring some distaff dazzle to the festivities. Never has the Great American Songbook sounded better at 4:20.