Oh, man! I’m so sorry, I’ve always thought you were a guy. Man, I feel terrible.
And I was actually one of those three guys that was asked to stick around. =)
Some pictures! Blurry, because my dad isn’t so good at the photography thing, but they’re still special.
Left to right: Jon, my brother, David, my best friend, me, and Wynton.
I agree, Sonalii, Nic, Lee-Lee: This was truly an amazing concert! Glad we all made it! We must have seen y’all as a copy of Ellington book was autographed (there wasn’t a chance to ask Wynton how he knew Duke liked kangaroos); my pen floated in the lines, then magically re-appeared…Nic and friends must have been directly behind me, surmises the redhead in retrospect. Nic, did you think Sonalii was a boy’s name?! Luigi, hope one day you’ll organize us better, there was such a crowd we couldn’t possibly find the forum!! Anyway, we discovered a delicious chocolate bar at the Four Seasons and enjoyed sunny walks through Atlanta. Hope Jurzy will enjoy this concert in NYC as much as we did at Woodruff.
The concert: The variety of band scores, combining different rhythms, lush harmonies and effects, tonal colors through contrasting musical dialogue and instrumentations, etc., made the greatest impression on me. All the rep was great; enjoyed comparing the arrangements of Duke, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, Billy Strayhorn and Basie. Lots to consider from the arrangers’ perspectives; Ted Nash’s take of My Favorite Things provided great, hard-driving swing! I was surprised by facets of Strayhorn’s take on Rhapsody in Blue, there didn’t seem to be many contrasts of dynamic ranges, but it was an abbreviated version of Gershwin. A great lesson in arranging, so appreciated it.
Sorry I missed you Gloria. We were all in line together it seems. Nic, don’t feel bad. It’s cool. At least you know going forward I am female. I was standing behind you in line. I’m in the tan suit in the middle picture. My mother spoke to you briefly, encouraging you to keep up with the music regardless of what you play. You were sitting two rows ahead of me. Even though my picture didn’t turn out quite right, as you said Nic, it is still special. My head is still in the clouds from last night…..
Man, it’s so weird learning who all of you are! Yes, Gloria, I was standing right behind you. I actually remember that pen being handed back to you. And I remember your mother too, Sonalii. I love it when people like her stop to talk to kids like me. All of you guys are so great. Hopefully next time we’ll be stuck in the hall together again and we can actually talk to each other knowing who everyone is.
What a fantastic night.
Update - Savannah Show
My prose does not match the eloquent, vivid and illumainating description of Sonalii’s but I will try my best to capture the atmosphere of last evening’s performance.
Prior to the performance Wynton was at the unveiling of a plaque honoring the legendery cornetist Joe “King” Oliver at 514 M.L. King Jr. Boulevard at 3:00pm. The area where the honor took place was in an area know as West Main Street which was the center of entertainment in Savannah in the 30’s and 40’s and where Louis Armstrong last saw his mentor working. King Oliver went to Savannah after losing his gig in New York to the up and coming Duke Ellington.The ceremony also honored other local musicians who made the area famous.
Wynton spoke of the “King” as being a taskmaster as a band leader but one who remained true the integrity of the music. Also, in his own unmistakeable style, Wynton spoke of the importance of art to the survival on humanity.
Afterwards, Wynton posed for pictures and spoke with those in attedance and gave an interview to the local media. All in all Wynton spent over 2 hours, with the temperature hovering around 85 degrees greeting, chatting and just being the “down home” person those of us who have had the chance to meet him have come to know. (He even took the time to speak with the father of a friend of mine who was celebrating his 90th birthday which I captured in a great photo.) I mentioned to Rob Gibson who worked with Wynton at Jazz @ Lincoln Center that this was one of the reasons I respected him so much as a person. Though he has traveled the world and has garnered much acclaim, he remains respectful and humble.
The program was scheduled at 7:30pm in the Jonny Mercer Theater in the Savannah Civic Center. Duke Ellington’s arrangement of “Sunny Side of the Street” kicked off the performance. “Blue Skies” followed next with solos featuring Walter Blanding and Marcus Printup. Wynton then launched into a blistering paced tempo of “Sweet Georgia Brown” which featured his amazing technical prowness on the trumpet supplemented with solos by Ted Nash, Dan Nimmer and Victor Goines.
Next the LCJO launched into “My Funny Valentine” featuring the alto sax of Sherman Irby.(Sherman’s birthday was yesterday and his parents brought a lighted cake on stage.) This was then followed by “Night In Tunisia”. I must say that Marcus’ solo this night was as hot as in Atlanta.(Maybe the hometown crowd was responsible for the difference.)
The Orchestra took intermission and started the final half with “Down By The Riverside” playing the same arrangement as in Atlanta. Wynton then took Center stage to perform “What Is This Thing Called Love”. Needless to say he played it with all of the feeling and effortlessness exhibited on the CD “Live at the House of Tribes”. Ted Nash’s arrangement of “My Favorite Things” followed along with “I left my heart in San Francisco”. Wynton then took center stage again to play “The Midnight Blues” (I personally love to hear him play the blues.) He evoked so many different emotions from his 993 that I was ready to testify. For a least six mintues, from soft and sensual to raw primal screams, his message through the horn transported us through the pain and pleasure the blues can represent.
“Rhapsody In Blue” was the final number but before they started, someone from the audience shouted out a request for “Cherokee”. Wynton advised him that he would play it after they completed Rhapsody and took their bows.
Needless to say he came out for the encore with Ali Jackson, Dan Nimmer and Carlos Henriquez and played “Cherokee” with his nimble fingers racing through his whirlwind ad lib solo with his bucket mute in place. Near the end of the number the heated intensity of the solo resulted in his mute dropping out of the horn. Unfazed, Wynton ended in it in dramatic style soaring up beyond the stratosphere for his last note.
The program was thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.
Thanks so much Lee-Lee! We enjoyed this tour so much! It was wonderful to hear standards brought to life with timeless arrangements together with the dexterity and expertise of these great musicians! Glo.
Thank you for the review Lee-Lee. I wanted to attend the Savannah, but family obligations prevented me from being there. Nonetheless, as I was reading your review I couldn’t help but hear the music of Atlanta’s show. I read and saw some of the pictures of the dedication to King Oliver in the Savannah News. Despite the heat, it looked as if Wynton kept his cool throughout. Happy you were able to attend and experience the graciousness that only Wynton so eloquently displays.
I would like to add that watching LCJO on Friday was an illuminating experience. It was beautiful to see the familial atmosphere of the players onstage, with Wynton acting as proud father displaying the talents of his gifted offspring. It seems egos are kept in check and the focus is squarely on the music and the results are the purest music played by some of the finest jazz musicians in the world.
Dear Sonalii and Lee Lee,
thank you very much for your reviews.
I linked them directly from home page.
Your welcome Luigi.
I might add you are welcome also. I ‘ve got a couple of great photos from the unveiling if you want to add them to the gallery.
I want to see the photos lee-lee!
Ok lee lee,
please send us the photos.
Please advise me on how to upload the pictures.
Dear Lee lee,