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CSN Jazz Benefit

CSN
(Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images)

Crosby, Stills & Nash did the second of their two shows with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Rose Theater in New York Friday. The concert, along with Wednesday’s private gala, was to benefit Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Backstage after the show, David Crosby exclaimed, “That was the most fun I ever had with my clothes on!” Backed by the 16-piece orchestra, under the direction of trumpet great Wynton Marsalis, they turned in a 12-song set that re-arranged such classics as “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Marrakesh Express,” “Long Time Gone,” “Déjà Vu,” “Southern Cross” and “Teach Your Children.” Graham Nash told us he was “a little nervous. Our songs with a jazz orchestration?” But, in the end, he said, “It could not have gone better.” Stephen Stills called it a “great choice of songs.”

Uncommonly dressed in dark suits and ties, CSN could not help but joke. Nash said, “If you laugh at our suits I’ve instructed security to throw you out.” Crosby added that he was wearing “his first pair of grown-up shoes. Look, they have laces,” to which Nash said, “David now has a laces roadie.”

The trio danced during instrumental passages. Crosby said, “We’re like three children being let loose at NASA… This is a big privilege. It’s like getting to play with the big kids.” Nash said the experience was “insane.”

Other songs given new arrangements included “Long Time Gone” “and “Military Madness,” which swung with a big-band treatment, before winding down into “Taps.”

Just before the last two songs, Marsalis told the audience what it took to mount the two shows. He called CSN true professionals and said they were “honored to host them.” Following a horn-filled version of “Love the One You’re With,” Nash said, “I think we have time for one more song before Brooks Brothers takes the suits back.” Crosby, borrowing a line from John Lennon, said, “We need you to sing this one and not rattle your jewelry” before ending the set with “Teach Your Children.” Although they had not prepared an encore, the trio returned and had Wynton lead them through “Lazy Jane.”

Crosby hopes to repeat the collaboration, telling the audience to “write and picket” until the organizers agree. The two shows, as well as all the rehearsals, were captured on film in hopes of a DVD and CD release. CSN’s tour officially gets under way Sunday in Orlando, Florida.

Friday night’s set list:

1) Military Madness

2) Long Time Gone

3) Helplessly Hoping

4) Marrakesh Express

5) Southern Cross

6) Critical Mass / Wind on the Water

7) Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

8) Cathedral

9) Guinevere

10) Deja Vu

11) Love the One You’re With

12) Teach Your Children

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