Paul Simon has shared Cool Papa Bell, a new track from his forthcoming album, Stranger to Stranger.
Simon’s 13th solo album, Stranger is due out on June 3 via Concord Records in the U.S. and Virgin EMI in the U.K.
“Cool Papa Bell was a baseball player in the Negro Leagues from 1922 to 1950,” Simon observes in the album notes. “He was considered one of the fastest men ever to play the game. Legend has it that Bell could turn off a light switch and be in bed before the light went out. He once bunted a triple. A friend gave me a painting of Cool Papa Bell, and somehow he found his way into a song.”
Produced by Simon and his longtime musical partner Roy Halee, Stranger to Stranger is full of thrilling, imaginative textures that conjure a vivid and vital new context for Simon’s well-established virtuosity as a singer and songwriter. The record, his first since 2011’s acclaimed So Beautiful or So What, ushers the listener into a brave new musical world where expectations are defied and exceeded, as they were thirty years ago with another masterwork, Graceland.
Last week, Paul Simon was in the UK where he performed Wristband from the new album on the season debut of Later… with Jools Holland.
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