Elton John and Leon Russell

Elton John and Leon Russell @ US Airways Center

Elton John has been a superstar for decades. His latest collaborator, Leon Russell, on the other hand, has been something of an obscurity for most of his 40-something-year career, which started as a session musician and featured one semi-hit album, 1972's Carney, and a few other charting records before his success faded at the end of the '70s. The new record from pair, The Union, features both men playing piano and singing. It's a natural partnership, which is probably why it's gotten such rave reviews: Russell has been an inspiration for Sir Elton for many years, and John even opened for him early in his career. The tables have turned. While it's customary for Elton to sell out arenas, Russell has been performing in small clubs like The Rhythm Room. He's got arena-size talent, though, so don't expect him to be blown off the stage by Elton.


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