Wynton’s Blog

à Vienne

I missed two planes from New York to Lyon. Finally arrived today in Paris at 8am and drove 5hrs with Fernando (he just got married two weeks ago) to Vienne. Jazz à Vienne is one of the great festivals of music in France. It takes place all over the city but the main stage is in an ancient Roman amphitheater.

Tonight the great French pianist Hervé Sellin is playing before us. We are kindred spirits because his father was a trumpeter and my father is a pianist. He has a dedicated and thoroughly swinging band and writes crafty and well crafted music. He has also been an excellent teacher to many students at the Paris Conservatory.

Claude Egea is playing all kinds of trumpet with Hervé tonight. He is a very intelligent soloist with great chops and passion for the nuances. Claude recently agreed to teach Noé, a young trumpeter I see every year in Marciac. I think Claude has a big feeling and is a great teacher for a youngster.We enjoy their set then we play for about 1 hour and a half. The old chops are killing me! I've been so consumed with not missing my second deadline on a piece for the Atlanta and Boston orchestras.

I need to practice my horn. I love the road and seeing all the cats.
Our road manager, Ray 'Big Boss' Murphy, is a 'first road day' first victim of a lost bag. Festivals afford us the opportunity to see musicians and friends we haven't seen for some time. Every night can be like a homecoming. We see Farid Barron, great Philadelphia pianist who now plays with the Sun Ra Arkestra. I loved Ra and almost played with the band before going with Art Blakey.

I taught Freeze when he was in high school but today he gives me a lesson on the relationship between Monk and Jelly Roll Morton punctuated with musical examples. He explains the importance of octaves to Jelly Roll's conception which leads to insights on the importance of learning on the macro level before going to the micro. Chopin and a big chordal pianistic approach is juxtaposed to the Baroque digital way of learning.

The mayors of Lyon and Vienne, Gerard Collomb and Jacques Remiller (sax player) attend tonight’s festivities. We took a photo with Jean Paul Boutellier who programs the festival and has loved jazz since he was a kid.We hear a late night set with Jeremy Pelt and Mark Turner and eat and talk shit and tell stories. Yeah, we had a great time listening and playing. Now it’s 2 in the morning and I'm packing. Me and Fernando are gonna be on that road at 7am back to Paris and another glorious night of swinging.


JLCO Set List
Vienne, France
July 9, 2009

Set I:

- We See – Up from Down – Paris Stairs – Abyssinian 200: Offertory I, II & III – Bolero – Matisse – Pollack – Ugly Beauty – Bye-Ya


- Free to Be (Wynton, Victor & Walter)

« Previous Entry

Next Entry »