Hello all! I was lucky enough to be at the wonderful show Wynton did with the Wes Anderson Quintet at the Village Vanguard on Sunday, January 11. I wonder if there was a setlist of the music played during that night? I remember some of them: Mingus Dust, Winter Branches, and Desert Caravan, but there were also some guest appearances (the wonderful blues singer Carrie Smith!) and I believe Marcus Roberts? If anyone has further information on the music and the musicians present that would be great.
I attended the Friday night 9:00 pm set of the Wess Anderson Group. While I think Mr. Anderson is a fine player, his group was generally uninspired, and I was shocked at how lazy Mr. Marsalis was. It was almost as if he decided that the audience was comprised of “Jazz Tourists” who wouldn’t know the difference between someone commited to making good music, and a guy who just plays the same licks over and over. (Then again, maybe he was correct to assume this.) The highlight of the set was when the band played HAPPY BIRTHDAY for a friend in the audience. Though Mr. Marsalis’ ideas were not particularly interesting, at least he looked mildly engaged in the attempt.
Rocky… i know what you mean. As much as i love Wynton, i wish he’d show more spirit.
I mean he always seems like that.
Nic and Rocky,
As I sit here listening to a mini-disc that somone gave me of Wess Anderson at the Vanguard (Friday and Saturday both sets….I was there all week…) I am more than a little confused by some of your statements…..perhaps you wold like to explain what exactly you were referring to as the groups lack of inspiration and Wynton’s laziness:.....his Cootie-esque plunger solo on “The Creeper”, perhaps it was Wyntons 6 choruses of un-accompanied trumpet on Billies Bounce…..can you explain to me the harmonic sublties of his approcah to delayed resolution? or…maybe Wes was uninspired on “In a Sentimental Mood” one of his signature ballads…...?...when was the last time you heard a more tuneful original bossa-nova played in a blues style than “Blandings Backyard Barbeque”.......oh and by the way, in your GROSS ignorance of what was going on that evening…..perhaps you wern’t paying enough attention to know the whole “happy birthday” thing…it was MAX ROACH you idiot…...one of the progenitors of modern jazz drums…...are you guys both kids or what? Your comments sound to me like those of the over-indulged, self-absorbed, video-game addled generation that has no clue as to the depth of nuance that this music produces….oh and btw, if WYnton was subdued…perhaps he was being RESPECTFUL (something neither of you understand) of the fact that it was Warmdaddy’s gig, not his.
That was harsh but you are on the money with your comments and…
(It’s at least true that Nic is a child so take it easy???)
I’d love to hear that mindisc!
I’m pleased Warmdaddy has stepped up to the plate! He is a lovely person!
I stand by my comments regarding the Wes Anderson Set at the Vanguard.
Quite to the contrary, if Mr. Marsalis was really being “respectful”, he would have invested more interest in his performance. I remember seeing him with Charles McPherson a few years back at the Vanguard, and he certainly had no qualms about playing up and down on the horn. Hey, maybe it was an off night for him, he’s human after all.
Mr Anderson is a fine player, but I wasn’t particularly wowed by him that night, nor any of his compositions.
By the way,
I certainly hope that the mini disc you got hold of came from one of the musicians. If the copy was bootlegged, you have a heck of nerve talking about being respectful .
Just another thought:
I obviously enjoy Mr. Marsalis’ efforts..why else would I have come to the show, if not to hear him at his best? My sole complaint was that he appeared to be dis-interested, unengaged in the evening. I’m more than aware that he has a formidable vocabulary, but his lack of committment that evening that rankled me..especially considering how he maintains he doesn’t like to condesend to the audience..it seemed to me this is exactly what he did.
An contrary example would be Roy Eldredge. When he came to play, it didn’t matter whether he was the leader or sideman..he came to play at the top of his game and he took no prisoners. His enthusiasm that was contagious, and it often rubbed of on his band mates.
As for the annoucement about Happy Birthday, well I was sitting in the very back of the club amidst some very vocal and rude “jazz tourists” who made it very difficult to hear the annoucements.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Okay, you’ve ticked me off. I’m gonna be nice. By the way, I HATE VIDEO GAMES! Yes, i’m 14. And it’s my opinion! Everyone has their own! OKAY!? The world doesn’t revolve around what you think.
First of all, your COMPLETE cop-out, in regard to this discourse, “...everyone is entitled to their own opinion….” smacks of a peculiar juvinility, perhaps you are actually another self-absorbed adolesent….in which case you are dismissed, however, your earlier writing hints at some experience so I will attempt an intelligent rebuttal (don’t read on Nic…you won’t understand it…)....
1. “No qualms about playing up and down the horn..” Mr. Marsalis covered exactly 3 1/2 octaves in his solo on Billies Bounce (Friday 9:00 Pm Set) from low G (concert F) to a (commonly referred to) double B above high C…..up and down? Yes yes.
2. Roy Eldridge-I had the distinct priviledge of playing on about a dozen gigs with “Little Jazz” back in the 70’s and early 80’s prior to his passing, yes he always came to play, NO he wasn’t ALWAYS enthusiastic and NO he wasn’t always musical, he many times became obsessed with the upper register of the horn rather than melodic or emotional communication, as much as I loved him it was occassionally a high-note circus more than a musical event….
3. How can an individual be “dis-interested, unengaged” and “condescend” to the audience at the same time…seems to me to be two completely diametric states….
4. I was also there for Charles McPherson, and yes he(Wynton) played great, however, David Hadju in The Atlantic Monthly, thought much the same way you did about THAT performannce as you do about THIS one….so, perspective is relative.
5. Mini-disc courtesy of a musician, yes.
6. One of the “Jazz Tourists” was the enthusiastic spouse of one of the musicians…we can forgive her for that….
We should remember that an artist tries to find a consistent level at which they can communicate with their audience, the unrealistic, pop-culture expectation that an artist will ALWAYS meet some pre-concieved level the public might have is not only a symptom of our immature disposable culture, but also unrealistic. An artists communicative powers can be wielded in many , sometimes contrary. ways…introspection among them…..however, in this case, I am not sure we heard the same performance.
“I was also there for Charles McPherson, and yes he(Wynton) played great, however, David Hadju in The Atlantic Monthly, thought much the same way you did about THAT performannce as you do about THIS one….so, perspective is relative.”
You hit the nail right on the head, that is my point exactly. Your perspective and mine are different. Your’s is not more valid than mine, regardless of your sneering, comically self righteous bombast. If you thought that show was inspired, you really need to get out more.
Mr. Marsalis sometimes displays a certain lethargy in his playing, particularly when playing with musicians who are younger or contemporary to him. He has no problem being up for a McPherson or Sonny Rollins. Maybe he was bored by the music at the Vanguard. And yes, I do hold him to a higher standard, after all he was billed as the featured artist. I don’t care if he’s great everytime I see him, I just want him to give half a damn. That’s not to much to ask.
As far as Mr. Marsalis’ famed technique, there is no question that he is gifted in that regard. However, during last years “Jazz Jamboree”, he and many of the other musicians on the Avery Fisher Hall stage ran into a buzz saw named Chris Potter. Mr. Marsalis had his work cut out for him that night. Does Mr. Potter have more technique than Mr. Marsalis..who cares? Mr. Potter came to play that night, and played with enthusiasm and creativity.
One can be dis-interested and dis-engaged and then condescend to an audience by saying in effect;“You should be glad I’m giving you this much.”
I know a good performance from a so so one, and in my opinion, Mr. Marsalis, despite his usual bag of effects, didn’t bother toshow up that night
Yes, that’s my opinion. I’m sorry if you don’t agree, but I think we can both get past this and hope for better things to come.
I also was at Avery Fisher for that event, if anyone got cut that evening you really might want to check with Mr. Brecker’s doctor, not Mr. Marsalis….did you really detect lethargy in his playing that night? Come on, he was all OVER the horn and, Mr. Potter, who, I might add, had nothing but praise for Wynton’s playing that night, even admitted, off the record, that prior to that , he didn’t think much of his (Wynton’s) playing in that type of “contemporary” set up but that evening had changed that. Please email me an address and I will send you a private video of Wynton CARVING up a “contemporary” trumpet player, that according to your theory hewould have..“displays a certain lethargy in his playing”. Maybe that would change you rmind. Besides, what in a man’s playing defines his ” gives a damn-ness”...are you more moved by the obvious outward signs, rapid notes, non-melodic sound effects, and facial expressions or the actual swing and melodic content….I never once mentioned “Mr. Marsalis’ famed technique”, I merely was responding to your commentary on “playing up and down the horn” and that possibly your observations were incorrect, notice that I say observations not opinions, I could gice a @!#$ about your opinions, BUT, to completely mis-state something is another thing entirely.
My point is this: Mr. Marsalis is an easy target for the uninformed and un-initiated….because of his stature in the jazz and arts community, it is too easy to take cheap shots at a man who has never thought about anything (primarily) other than music…Now, for the record, I will admit that the band with Wes that night was an interesting combination and probably had not played together much, and, their playing was not as consistent as a group that had been on the road for a time, this by itself may have resulted in some musical inaccuracies, but I don’t believe these were the result of Wynton’s dis-interest.
“... regardless of your sneering, comically self righteous bombast. If you thought that show was inspired, you really need to get out more…” tsk tsk, Mr. James, I really was beginning to think you might be able to get through this without name-calling…..perhaps the over 250 jazz gigs I do a year in venues from no-name clubs to international jazz fests would qualify me for “getting out”..pray tell me Mr. James where can I come hear YOU play? I’ll be in playing in NYC next month perhaps you would like to bring your horn and sit in?
You know what? I’m leaving. Cause you all just want to one-up each other. And i’m a christian. And i won’t get invovled with this. So i’m gonna leave this post and ask Luigi to delete it. God Bless.
Also. thank you for chrushing my thoughts on other Jazz musicians. I thought they’d be nice and help me and and teach me, cause i’m only a kid. But i guess not, they’re all just mean and self abosorbed. You really discouraged me. God Bless.
F.Y.I… I understood everything you said i wouldn’t understand.