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  • Marsalis’s ‘Congo Square,’ With the Lincoln Center Orchestra

    Posted on May 6th, 2006 in Review | 5

    Wynton Marsalis has composed a number of extended works during his tenure as artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, usually with the stated ambition of capturing some aspect of the African-American experience. On Thursday night at the Rose Theater, he conducted his latest such effort, “Congo Square,” featuring the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Odadaa!, a nine-piece Ghanaian percussion and vocal troupe.   Keep reading »

  • The Washington Post on Wynton’s “Congo Square”

    Posted on May 4th, 2006 in Review | 3

    The Washington Post has just published an article about Congo Square. The last work from Wynton and Yacub Addy will be performed May 4, 5 and 6 at Rose Theater   Keep reading »

  • Congo Square Rising Up

    Posted on May 3rd, 2006 in Review | 0

    Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center bring comfort and jazz to the city of New Orleans. It’s been about nine months since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. Today, the area is slowly being rebuilt. Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis has led efforts to heal his native city but his journey there this past month was planned well before the unforeseen disaster. Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO) performed a series of free events for people of all ages, including concerts, master classes, clinics, and workshops during a weeklong residency, April 17-23. The events were co-sponsored by the state of Louisiana and the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans.   Keep reading »

  • “Marsalis on Music” reviewed on All About Jazz

    Posted on April 14th, 2006 in Review | 0

    Marsalis on Music, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis’ groundbreaking audio/visual music education project from 1995, was produced by Sony Classical Film & Video, debuted in the US on PBS, and subsequently translated and shown around the world. The Peabody Award-winning program provides an excellent introduction to classical and jazz music, all in a fun and identifiable way. The video version is available in libraries, schools and rental clubs everywhere.   Keep reading »

  • A Visitor From the West Takes Charge of the Band

    Posted on February 27th, 2006 in Review | 4

    Gerald Wilson, the trumpeter, composer, arranger and conductor, is 87. On Thursday at the Rose Theater, taking part in “Central Avenue Breakdown,” a Jazz at Lincoln Center concert centering on Los Angeles jazz, he hijacked the evening. It was not his band, and not his city, but he handled the 15-member Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra like a paper airplane.   Keep reading »

  • Rambling Round Pittsburgh

    Posted on February 18th, 2006 in Review | 5

    The jazz legacy of Pittsburgh confounds easy generalization. There’s no shorthand summary for a city that produced the buoyant pianist Earl (Fatha) Hines as well as the steamrolling drummer Art Blakey and the urbane composer Billy Strayhorn. So Jazz at Lincoln Center wisely makes no claim to comprehensiveness in its Pittsburgh Festival, which takes up two of the three performance spaces at Frederick P. Rose Hall.   Keep reading »

  • All About Jazz reviews LCJO Chicago’s concert

    Posted on February 4th, 2006 in Review | 1

    The endless debate about Wynton Marsalis shows no sign of ever abating. Whether the Lincoln Center musical director/trumpeter is the greatest heir to the jazz tradition or a curmudgeonly and didactic reactionary who’s declared himself the final authority and what jazz is and, especially, isn’t, probably depends on your point of view. One thing, though, is certain: he and the 15-piece Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra put on a consistently good show. The band’s performance at Chicago’s Symphony Center was pretty typical of what they do: impeccably played, large-ensemble arrangements of the jazz-composer canon; smaller-group performances of the same; beautiful, crystal-clear horn voicings; a great drummer (currently Ali Jackson); a host of very good soloists, including Marsalis; and, yes, lots of spoken explanation from the musical director about the composers, the history of jazz, and why what the group is playing is good. Marsalis is wordy, and in his teaching mode, he can be annoying. But he’s usually pretty affable and often droll; certainly he shows no sign on the bandstand of being any sort of martinet, despite the band’s whip-tight playing.   Keep reading »

  • Live at The House of Tribes reviewed on All About Jazz

    Posted on February 2nd, 2006 in Review | 0

    Wynton Marsalis’ dominance seems at times so complete that it’s easy to either become suspicious of the musician represented by the vita sheet, or take it as a given that he’s the world’s greatest trumpet player, if not music-maker. Live at the House of Tribes offers little conclusive evidence for either position, but it certainly makes the case for a non-controversial middle ground.   Keep reading »

  • Hark! The Heralded Jazzmen Swing Some Familiar Melodies

    Posted on December 17th, 2005 in Review | 4

    Somewhere between ritual and remnant lies the jazz Christmas concert. As a manifestation of pure secular middle-class civility, it represents a vague and probably disappearing middle ground, even in Manhattan.   Keep reading »

  • Higher Ground CD reviewed by Washington Post

    Posted on December 7th, 2005 in Review | 2

    Hitting Katrina From Two Directions There are nearly 10 benefit albums with Hurricane Katrina on their minds, and doubtless more are coming. Bring ‘em on. In theory, at least, when it comes to raising relief funds through music, everyone wins.   Keep reading »