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  • A Record Label’s Legacy Is Celebrated and Reimagined

    Posted on April 28th, 2007 in Review | 0

    The legacy of Blue Note Records cuts a wide swath through music history, from the boogie-woogie bustle of Meade Lux Lewis to the folk-stirred pop of Norah Jones. But the label’s core identity rests on a remarkable body of recordings made in the 1950s and ’60s. It’s only natural that “Legends of Blue Note,” a concert presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center on Thursday night, would focus chiefly on that era, if only as a ratification of its enduring appeal.   Keep reading »

  • Looking Home to The Crescent City

    Posted on April 12th, 2007 in Review | 1

    Wynton Marsalis is rarely predictable. When it was announced that his concert on Tuesday would feature the same edition of the Marsalis Sextet that’s on his new album, “From the Plantation to the Penitentiary,” as well as the singer Jennifer Sanon, who is extensively featured on the album, it was a logical conclusion that Mr. Marsalis would be performing music from the new release.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis Checks In on The Land That Never Has Been Yet

    Posted on April 8th, 2007 in Review | 0

    I’ve been listening to Wynton Marsalis’ new disc From the Plantation to the Penitentiary a lot.  It’s got the music—a neat jazz combo running through a variety of styles.  It’s just enough bop and bebop so it doesn’t put one to sleep like a Kenny G. solo, but it’s not an avalanche of sound like those from Coltrane’s thundering Ascension either.  Then there’s the vocals.  Yes, the vocals.  Mr. Marsalis is putting some lyrics to his tunes on this one, and he’s got plenty to say.   Keep reading »

  • The Band Strikes Up to Play a Few of Its Favorite Things

    Posted on April 3rd, 2007 in Review | 3

    Some concerts by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra adhere to thematic prescriptions: the legacy of a single composer, for instance, or the sound of a specific place and time. “The Songs We Love,” which the band performed in more than a dozen cities leading up to a three-night stand at the Rose Theater, advanced a somewhat less focused agenda.   Keep reading »

  • A Few of Our Favorite Things

    Posted on April 2nd, 2007 in Review | 0

    When Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra climaxed their concert Thursday night at the Rose Theater with “Rhapsody in Blue,” they were, in a very literal sense, settling an old score. The last time the JALCO played the “Rhapsody” was in November, at an all-Gershwin Gala. That treatment featured the pianist Marcus Roberts as star soloist, but, through no fault of the orchestra or Mr. Roberts, it had to be the worst version of Gershwin’s classic that I’ve ever heard.   Keep reading »

  • One more lesson from Marsalis: masterclass at Onondaga Community College

    Posted on March 28th, 2007 in Review | 3

    Wynton Marsalis shared so many insights during his visit to OCC on Tuesday morning that even after yesterday’s Listen Up item and today’s story in The Post-Standard, I have one more observation jumping out of my notebook.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis and company play ‘Songs We Love’

    Posted on March 26th, 2007 in Review | 2

    If you were lucky enough to score a ticket to Saturday night’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis concert, then you heard a pristine performance from a group of world-class musicians. The program presented by the orchestra was called “The Songs We Love,” and it was filled with well-known Jazz and Big Band standards.   Keep reading »

  • A lesson in loving jazz

    Posted on March 15th, 2007 in Review | 3

    School was in session at Massey Hall last night, when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra rolled into town. Billed as The Songs We Love, the show consisted of tunes that anchor the Great American Songbook, such as “Tea for Two” and “My Favourite Things.” “These are all songs that you know ... we’re going to play them so well up here, we’re going to make you love them again,” declared Wynton Marsalis as the band launched into “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”   Keep reading »

  • WYNTON MARSALIS: “From the Plantation to the Penitentiary”

    Posted on March 5th, 2007 in Review | 0

    From his landmark album “Black Codes (From the Underground)” through his Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio “Blood on the Fields,” the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has always found avenues for social critique. But his new quintet album delivers a fresh jolt to the system, by blowing apart the refuge of allegory. Oh, and he raps. But we’ll get to that.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis blasts political and societal inequities

    Posted on March 4th, 2007 in Review | 0

    For those who think of Wynton Marsalis as a purveyor of gauzy romantic ballads and composer of epic symphonic works, the trumpeter has a surprise in store. “From the Plantation to the Penitentiary,” to be released Tuesday on Blue Note Records, ranks as Marsalis’ most explicitly political statement to date, even as it draws on themes from earlier recordings.   Keep reading »