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  • A Pianist Fully in Charge of Everything He Surveys

    Posted on September 19th, 2008 in Review | 0

    Ahmad Jamal stood up repeatedly from the piano at the Rose Theater on Thursday night, almost always during a song. His reasons had to do with the act of management, which plays an important role in his music. Sometimes he turned to face the rest of his rhythm section, as if to observe its progress or pass silent judgment. Sometimes he was making an announcement, or cuing the big band onstage. It was the kickoff for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s new season, but the timing felt almost incidental. Mr. Jamal had the floor, unequivocally, and he wasn’t interested in behaving like a guest.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis Leads The Faithful

    Posted on April 15th, 2008 in Review | 0

    This past weekend, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, which is generally regarded as New York’s oldest Afro-American religious institution, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall was transformed into a kind of spiritual multiplex. Gospel choirs issued forth from every performance space, and also in the public atrium in between (where macaroni and cheese was served, presumably to evoke the provisions one might find at a Sunday school picnic). What artistic director Wynton Marsalis usually calls the House of Swing had become the House of Prayer.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis Mass Honors Harlem Church

    Posted on April 14th, 2008 in Review | 0

    A young institution pays tribute to a venerable one with Wynton Marsalis’s “Abyssinian 200: A Celebration.” It was written for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, founded in 1988, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, a bulwark of African-American New York City. The orchestra introduced the work last week at its own Rose Theater.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis summons the spirit

    Posted on April 13th, 2008 in Review | 0

    In the early days of jazz in New Orleans, Saturday night was the flip side of Sunday morning. The call-and-response dynamic among a band’s players was inspired by preacher and congregation; trumpeters emulated the bent-note wails and chants of gospel song.   Keep reading »

  • Reviews and video from the first part of Ellington Tour

    Posted on January 27th, 2008 in Review | 10

    As you know, Wynton and the JLCO are touring USA to perform the music of Duke Ellington…Now the band is playing in California (Check the next dates). Here you have some reviews about the previous concerts by Chicago Tribune, by the Bebopified, by Piooner Press, by the Southbend Tribune, Metro Santa Cruz, the Santa Rosa Press and Daily Californian. Before starting the tour Wynton was also interviewed by MSN Music and by Pantagraph.com. Please continue to send us comments, reviews and photos with Wynton if you are going to attend one of the concerts. Feel free to subscribe…   Keep reading »

  • Wynton playing at Barbican Hall

    Posted on July 25th, 2007 in Review | 5

    I saw the Duke Ellington Orchestra once, when Duke was dying, and his leading soloists were winding down their musical lives. But it still sounded like a group of inspired chancers who liked mixing order and happenstance.   Keep reading »

  • ‘Congo Square’ a dialogue of eras

    Posted on June 26th, 2007 in Review | 4

    When Wynton Marsalis rocketed to stardom in the 1980s, he seemed poised to enjoy a long career as a hyper-virtuoso trumpeter. Though Marsalis remains a top-flight soloist, it’s his work as composer of epic scores that more deeply defines his art. Clearly, no one else in recent jazz history has produced a comparable list of vast compositions, including the thunderous “All Rise” (performed earlier this year by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), the incantatory “In This House, On This Morning” (a jazz evocation of a gospel church service) and the incendiary “Blood on the Fields” (the first jazz composition to win the Pulitzer Prize in music, in 1997).   Keep reading »

  • A dazzling trip to Crescent City’s Congo Square

    Posted on June 23rd, 2007 in Review | 0

    After helping elevate the jazz genre to an even more mainstream platform throughout the 1980s, Wynton Marsalis has embarked upon a number of compelling paths. Yet the famed trumpeter/composer/conductor is currently in the midst of an incredibly ambitious streak thanks to his new work Congo Square, which he’s been staging all across the country backed by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, along with drum master Yacub Addy and his eight piece Odadaa! Troupe.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis delivers a big-bang world-beat on Clevaland’s `Congo Square’

    Posted on June 19th, 2007 in Review | 10

    Worlds collided to wonderful effect when trumpeter Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and percussionist Yacub Addy’s Odadaa! ensemble shared the stage Monday evening at Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre.   Keep reading »

  • Say Amen, Everybody, 15 Years Down the Line

    Posted on May 26th, 2007 in Review | 1

    When Wynton Marsalis unveiled his sanctified long-form composition “In This House, on This Morning” 15 years ago, it marked a breakthrough for him as well as for Jazz at Lincoln Center, where he had recently begun his tenure as artistic director. So it might be tempting to view the piece’s revival this week as an act of misty nostalgia, the equivalent of dusting off a scrapbook, or a treasured hymnal, and gingerly turning pages.   Keep reading »