Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Eric Clapton says he felt it was his "personal mission" to honor the late J.J. Cale with a tribute album. The Breeze: An Appreciation of J.J. Cale comes out tomorrow.

"J.J. ought to be better, or more widely, appreciated, not just in America, but everywhere," says Clapton. "So I’ve always enjoyed playing his music and letting people know that he’s there. He doesn’t need me — he never needed me — to do that. But I was always compelled to. When he passed, I felt I needed to say thank you. [This album] was a way for me to say thank you and to invite other people to thank him.”

Clapton is joined on the album by Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Derek Trucks, John Mayer and others. Cale was 74 when he died from a heart attack on July 26th, 2013.

VH1 Classic and Palladia TV are supporting tomorrow's release with a 30-minute special, The Breeze (An Appreciation of JJ Cale), featuring interviews with Clapton, Mayer, Knopfler, Trucks and others.