The first taste of all-star tribute album Here It Is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen, James Taylor’s “Coming Back to You,” felt a bit underwhelming. The second, Nathaniel Rateliff’s just-released “Famous Blue Raincoat,” holds more promise. It also showcases why this is coming out on revered jazz label Blue Note Records, as Rateliff is backed not by his usual rave-up soul band the Night Sweats, but by a tight combo, including Bill Frisell on guitar and some beautiful solos by Immanuel Wilkins on alto saxophone.
“Leonard Cohen has been a massive influence on me since I was very young,” Rateliff said in a statement. “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.”
Check out Rateliff’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” below. Here It Is comes out October 14 and also features Norah Jones, James Taylor, Peter Gabriel, Iggy Pop, Mavis Staples, and more.
Check out our list of the 50 Best Leonard Cohen Covers Ever here.