Elton now credits Leon as a major musical influence, and he suggested that they team up again for `The Union‘ — an all-new duet reunion evoking early-’70s musical styles. Producer T Bone Burnett sat them at duelling pianos, backed by a roster of session heavy-hitters. Memorable guest appearances include Neil Young (`Gone To Shiloh’) and Brian Wilson (`When Love Is Dying’). While not every track’s a winner, this album grows on you and the artists’ sense of enjoyment is infectious. Most poignant is Leon’s final song, the autobiographical `In The Hands Of Angels’, while others, like the smart funky opener `If It Wasn’t For Bad’ and the slow-gospel `There’s No Tomorrow’, have an instant-classic feel.
MIKE DALY is a Melbourne journalist and music reviewer.