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  • Wynton Marsalis Gets Kind Of Blue

    Posted on August 25th, 1991 in Review

    There’s a recurring song on Wynton Marsalis’s formidable new trilogy, “Soul Gestures in Southern Blue,” called “So This Is Jazz, Huh?” It is both a challenge and a history lesson. Yeah, the song argues, this is jazz: a system of African-American mythmaking guided by the blues, with a rhythmic chain stretching back to pre-Civil War New Orleans and beyond. This is the seed for a grand musical discourse and an opening for unchecked pedantry. Over the almost three hours of “Soul Gestures in Southern Blue,” Marsalis gives both inclinations free play, to remarkable effect. As composer, arranger, musician and jazz ideologue, he has never been more impressive.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton: Prophet in standard time - Downbeat (September 1990)

    Posted on September 10th, 1990 in Profiles & Interviews

    A rainy afternoon in Arlington Heights, IL. – just a mile up the street from the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame – the photographer and his assistant convert one corner of Wynton’s hotel suite into a studio while he fiddles with his trumpet. Somebody tripped over it a couple days before and one valve sticks. “Do you have a name for your trumpet?” the photographer asks. “Johnson” Wynton replies, chuckles, and adds, “No, not really.”   Keep reading »

  • Review/Jazz; The New Orleans in Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on March 30th, 1989 in Review

    His first note of the evening was a plunger-muted growl, and throughout the concert’s two sets he used the smears and rasps of early jazz along with the pure-toned, agile melodic style he is known for. Mr. Marsalis, a scholar of jazz-trumpet styles, has clearly been reinvestigating the work of Bubber Miley, who growled bluesy solos for the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the 1920’s.   Keep reading »

  • MUSIC; What Jazz Is - and Isn’t

    Posted on July 31st, 1988 in Profiles & Interviews

    My generation finds itself wedged between two opposing traditions. One is the tradition we know in such wonderful detail from the enormous recorded legacy that tells anyone who will listen that jazz broke the rules of European conventions and created rules of its own that were so specific, so thorough and so demanding that a great art resulted. This art has had such universal appeal and application to the expression of modern life that it has changed the conventions of American music as well as those of the world at large.   Keep reading »