Wynton’s Blog

In this tour, we have played 19 concerts of various sizes and shapes

On this tour, we have played 19 concerts of various sizes and shapes; 104 different compositions by over 33 different composers. Finally, we get to play the new SFJazz Center, five concerts (Ellington, Basie, Mingus, Monk, Traditional New Orleans Music and Recent Arrangements and Compositions by our members) in four days.

It is a rare and welcome treat to sit down for such a long time, and we thank Dan Pritzker for sponsoring this residency. SFJazz were welcoming and gracious hosts. Every night was sold out with a very attentive and appreciative Bay Area audience.

As Jason Olaine and I held our own programming meeting at the SFJazz Center, we couldn’t help but be proud of Randall and the entire organization for what they have achieved. From the omnipresent Artistic Producer Lilly Schwarz (who threw a great party for us on Saturday) to Marketing Director Patricia Gessner, Development Director Barrett Shaver, Stage Manager Tony Wilson and Sound Engineer Masa Tutu, from Production Manager Greg Kuhn and Director of Production Cecilia Engelhart, to the backstage crew of Joshua Badura and Christian Vela Porque, they took complete and absolute care of us. Carlos Henriquez stayed on us to make a Saturday afternoon JALC/SFJazz softball game happen, and Jeff Umetsu made it all possible from the SFJazz side. It provided much needed camaraderie and warm fellowship. Even the great Bobby Hutcherson came out.

Friday afternoon, composer Jeremy Walker, his wife Marsha, Lilly and I were eating in the SFJazz cafe to the swinging sounds of Bobby Hutcherson, Lee Morgan and Stan Getz. The food was great and the environment soaked in swing. Because we all had struggled to celebrate this music and live in its spirit, the experience was transcendent.

Sunday afternoon most of our orchestra showed up an hour and a half early to further clarify our Mingus roadmaps (Ali had been there studying the scores for much longer). We went from room to room verifying cues with each other, trying to figure out how to do better job of playing Mingus’ music. Sherman and I laughed when we saw how many of us were early and Carlos said, “Cats have pride.”

The quantity, diversity and quality of the compositions and arrangements we played the last 4 days speak for themselves. Here’s a listing:

Thursday Night: Ellington
1)The Mooche (1928)
2) Old Man Blues (1930)
3) Concerto for Cootie (1940)
4) Shout ‘em Aunt Tillie (1930)
5) Bragging in Brass (1938)
6) Mood Indigo (1930)
7) Echoes of Harlem (1936)
8) Happy Go Lucky Local (1946)
9) Jam a Ditty (1946)
10) Ahmad (1966)
11) Lady of the Lavender Mist (1947)
12) Island Virgin (1965)
13 Paris Stairs (1961)
14) Portrait of Wellman Braud (1970)
15) Self Portrait of the Bean (1963)
16) Chinoiserie (1970)
17) Isfahan (1966) —Billy Strayhorn comp.

Friday Night: New Orleans Traditional
18) Lawd Lawd Lawd (1895)— Buddy Bolden
19) Smokehouse Blues (1926)— Charles Luke comp., Jelly Roll Morton arr.
20) Dead Man Blues (1926) — Jelly Roll
21) Snake Rag (1923)— Joe “King” Oliver
22) Petite Fleur (1952)— Sidney Bechet
23) Muskrat Ramble (1926)— Louis Armstrong/ Kid Ory

Saturday Afternoon: JLCO
24) Wingspan (1987)— Mulgrew Miller comp., arr. Chris Crenshaw (2014)
25) Insatiable Hunger from “Inferno” (2012)— Sherman Irby
26) LBJ (The American Promise) from the Presidential Suite (2014)— Ted Nash
27) Peace (1959)— Horace Silver comp., arr. David Berger (2007)
28) Down by the Bayou from “Crescent City” (2014)— Victor Goines
29) Buddy Bolden (1890s)— Buddy Bolden

Saturday Night: Basie
30) I Left My Baby (1938)
—Andy Gibson, Count Basie and Jimmy Rushing,
31) Tickle Toe (1940)— Lester Young
32) Blue and Sentimental (1938)— Count Basie
33) Jumping at the Woodside (1938)— Eddie Durham
34) I Left My Heart in San Francisco (1963)— arr. Billy Byers for Count Basie
35) Sleepwalkers Serenade (1958)— Jimmy Mundy
36) It’s Awfully Nice to be With You (1958)— Neal Hefti
37) Blues in Hoss’ Flat (1959)— Frank Foster
38) Sixteen Men Swinging—(1954) Ernie Wilkins
39) Wiggle Walk (1960)— Benny Carter
40) Goin’ to Chicago (1939)— Count Basie and Jimmie Rushing
41) Moten Swing (1932)— Bennie and Buster Moten, arr. Ernie Wilkins (1959)
42) Texas Shuffle (1938)—Edgar Battle and Herschel Evans
43) The Blue Room (1932)—arr. Eddie Durham
44) Sent for You Yesterday (1938)— Eddie Durham/Jimmy Rushing

Sunday Afternoon: Mingus
45) Dizzy Moods
46) Isabel’s Table Dance
47) Tijuana Gift Shop
48) Los Mariachis (The Street Musicians)
All compositions Charles Mingus (1957), arr. Ron Westray (2002)
49) Self Portrait in Three Colors (1959)— Mingus
50) Meditations on Integration (1964)— Mingus comp, arr. Ron Westray (2002)
51) Goodbye Porkpie Hat (1959)— Mingus comp., arr. Marsalis (2006)
52) Moanin’ (1960)—Mingus comp., arr. Cy Johnson (1993)
53) Tom Cat Blues (1924)— Jelly Roll Morton

Sunday Night: Thelonious Monk
54) We See (1954)— arr. Sherman Irby (2008)
55) Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues Are (1957)— arr. Walter Blanding (2008)
56) Four in One (1951)— arr. Chuck Israels
57) Ugly Beauty (1968)—arr. Marsalis (2008)
58) Bye-ya (1953)—arr. Carlos Henriquez (2008)
59) Light Blue (1958)—arr. Vincent Gardner (2008)
60) Epistrophy (1942)—arr. Chris Crenshaw (2008)
61) Blue Monk (1954)

It is now 4:15 on Monday morning. We are well into our 30 something hour drive to Iowa. Having passed through mountains, deserts and casinos, we now go down into the heartland. Somewhere in Utah we stop to get gas. Damn! It’s 16 degrees and falling. California is a sweet memory.


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  1. What an awesome show it was at SF Jazz! Thanks again for taking the time to meet my students and sign autographs for them on Friday night. By the intermission they were already thanking me for taking them to your show, and they were talking about it for the rest of our trip! Your music really inspired them. –PM

    Patrick MacGibbon on Mar 26th, 2014 at 11:09am