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  • 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 »

  • Wynton’s concert in Chicago reviewed on Chicago Tribune

    Posted on February 2nd, 2006 in Concerts, Review | 0

    On Friday, January 27, Wynton and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra played in Chicago. Here is a review of that concert on the pages of Chicago Tribune   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 »

  • The Nutcrakcer’s concerts reviewed on the web

    Posted on December 13th, 2005 in Concerts, Review | 2

    Latest Wynton Marsalis and LCJO’s concerts about “The Nutcracker Suite” (arranged by Ellington/Strayhorn) has been reviewed on Democrat & Chronicle and Philadelphia Inquirer .   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 »

  • Lincoln Center’s Man With the Trumpet, With Orchestra

    Posted on November 19th, 2005 in Review | 5

    Just before the lights dimmed in the Rose Theater on Thursday night, a voice announced that while the use of cellphones was prohibited, hand-clapping, foot-stomping and cries of “Aw, yeah!” were all welcome forms of audience participation. It was a hokier introduction than one might have expected from a concert called “Wynton With Strings.” But in a way, it suited both subject and setting.   Keep reading »

  • Jazz ABZ reviewed on the New York Times

    Posted on November 17th, 2005 in Books, Review | 0

    The New York Times has just published a review on the new book Jazz ABZ written by Wynton and illustrated by Paul Rogers.   Keep reading »