Blue Engine Records announces its newest release: The Music of John Lewis
Honoring the legacy of the Modern Jazz Quartet’s maestro, John Lewis, Blue Engine Records announces its newest release: The Music of John Lewis by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis featuring Jon Batiste, available March 24.
The album marks the first recording featuring Wynton Marsalis and Jon Batiste, two longtime collaborators and New Orleans natives. The first single from The Music of John Lewis, “Piazza Navona,” is available for streaming on Spotify and as an iTunes download today.
In 2013, when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis set out to celebrate the esteemed pianist and composer, they teamed up with then rising star Jon Batiste. The bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and a prodigious pianist in his own right, Batiste joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra to tackle some of Lewis’s most iconic tunes during a sold-out concert in Rose Theater, the House of Swing.
Few musicians captured the sleek, swinging sophistication of jazz better than pianist, composer, and bandleader John Lewis, who had a long, deep, personal relationship with Jazz at Lincoln Center. “He used to always call our program a miracle,” says Wynton Marsalis. “He used to always say, ‘Keep that miracle going.’”
From the blistering bebop of “Two Bass Hit” to the down-home blues of “2 Degrees East, 3 Degrees West”—from small group configurations to the big band might of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra —The Music of John Lewis captures the elegance and soulfulness of Lewis’s daring compositions. The record also includes a four-movement suite pulled from the Modern Jazz Quartet’s classic recording The Comedy.
“The depth of his belief makes his music timeless,” Batiste says of Lewis. “For artists, what remains impactful and meaningful in one’s art depends on the accuracy and intensity of your insights. Mr. Lewis’s music is still with us, and it is an honor to place my artistry in the tradition of serving it. So put on this record, listen with your eyes closed, and engage your imagination.”