After a five-decade career, Leon Russell had basically faded into obscurity before collaborating with Elton on 2010’s The Union.
The former Reg Dwight urged his colleague to keep the momentum going, and the result is Life Journey, a new album due the first of April (a day before Leon’s 72nd birthday).
The disc features several standards, including material by Robert Johnson, Hoagy Carmichael and Billy Joel.
“This is a record of my musical journey through this life,” Russell writes in the liner notes. “It reflects pieces of things that I have done and things I never did.”
Elton is an executive producer of Life Journey, while the producer is Tommy LiPuma, who has worked with Miles Davis and Paul McCartney.
The Lawton, Oklahoma native’s new original songs on the album are Big Lips and Down In Dixieland.
Among the musicians joining Leon are horn players Ira Nepus and Darrell Leonard; guitarist Robben Ford; and organ player Larry Goldings.