Eric Clapton jams in jazz set with Wynton Marsalis

New York: Eric Clapton fulfilled his childhood fantasy as he took a turn on the jazz side, collaborating with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a little bit of swing at the orchestra`s annual gala benefit.

"I`ve never done anything like this in my life before," said Clapton during Thursday`s concert, which saw the Rock and Hall of Famer use his guitar skills to play jazz classics like "Joe Turner`s Blues," "Corrine, Corrina" and "Ice Cream."

An admittedly nervous Clapton revealed that his love of jazz music went back to his childhood.

"I wanted to be in a jazz band as a kid, but the guitar took me away," he told the audience.

But for one night, at least, he was the star of one, running through songs he`d selected — and one that he didn`t.

"Here`s a song that I didn`t really want to do," said Clapton. "I said the only way I`ll do it is if Wynton would make it sound like it came out of New Orleans."

Clapton and company then launched into a sultry, jazzed-up version of his classic "Layla," complete with trumpets, a trombone and a clarinet.

Marsalis praised Clapton for not only donating his time for the event, which raised $3.6 million, but also for his deep knowledge of the genre.

"The depth of respect I have for this man...," said Marsalis as he lauded Clapton, adding that it was an honour to play with the rock god.

"So much is not what it`s said to be," Marsalis said. "This man is for real."

The concert also featured a guest appearance from musical great Taj Mahal.

Bureau Report