Blue Note Records has released a new rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” by singer Nathaniel Rateliff accompanied by saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, guitarist Bill Frisell, pedal steel guitarist Greg Liesz, pianist Kevin Hays, organist Larry Goldings, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Nate Smith. You can check the track out below.
It’s the second single to be revealed from Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, which follows James Taylor’s elegant take on “Coming Back To You.” The endeavor is a remarkable album produced by Larry Klein that features an extraordinary line-up of vocalists interpreting Cohen’s profound songs including Norah Jones, Peter Gabriel, Gregory Porter, Sarah McLachlan, Luciana Souza, Iggy Pop, Mavis Staples, and David Gray. Here It Is comes out October 14 and can be pre-ordered now on D2C exclusive color vinyl, black vinyl, CD, or digital download.
“Leonard Cohen has been a massive influence on me since I was very young,” says Rateliff. “When I was asked to be a part of this project, I sent a huge list of songs that I wanted to do, honestly it was hard to pick. So many songs of his are my favorite songs of all time. ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ was one of my early Cohen favs. It was truly a pleasure to work with such great musicians on this arrangement and to have Larry Klein at the helm was just a treat.”
“Leonard Cohen had been a friend since 1982 or so, and in the last 15 years of his life, he became a close friend,” says Klein. “He was possibly the wisest and funniest friend that I had, and someone that I enjoyed, immensely, in every way. After he passed away, I found myself frequently covering his songs with other artists that I was working with. One reason, of course, is that the songs are so good, but the other reason was that it helped keep him in the air around me.”
Klein decided to assemble an album’s worth of Cohen songs, matching vocalists from different genres with an exceptional core band of jazz-based musicians—or, as he puts it, “a group of the most prescient and forward-looking musicians in the jazz world.”