Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Year Of Hal Willner

I've been expecting music producer/impresario Hal Willner to get one of those genius grants for years -- he created the tribute album and has overseen some of the most fascinating mixes of artists and music for decades now. But 2006 is really a peak year for him. "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your man" (a documentary film dominated by footage from a concert he curated) is in theaters, Willner has a "Pirates of the Caribbean" tie-in -- a two CD set with artists covering sea chanteys and other obscure nautical stuff -- out in August. And in October his tribute to the Anthology of American Folk Music (an iconic release) comes out on 2 CDs and 2 DVDs.Now how about another Disney concept album? (His "Stay Awake" may be my favorite Willner release and is presumably his best-seller.)

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