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  • Big Band, Big Premiere, Big Tour, Big Marsalis

    Posted on March 21st, 1998 in Review

    Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra have spent the last several months touring the world, and on Thursday night at Alice Tully Hall, over several hours of technically perfect playing, it showed. Mr. Marsalis and the orchestra, who will be performing again tonight as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center, were completely at ease moving through difficult music; the sharp juxtapositions Mr. Marsalis throws around in his pieces were never forced, and horn and percussion riffs were tossed in the air with the precision of a piece of industrial equipment stamping out a metal part. And at least one musician nodded off to sleep.   Keep reading »

  • A Mixed Marriage of Ghosts and Jazz

    Posted on February 10th, 1998 in Review

    Zhongmei Li specializes in the merging of styles that range from the traditional dances she learned in her native China to the Western modern dance she studied in New York. In her new ‘‘Portrait Enchantress,’’ the centerpiece of a program presented by the Zhongmei Dance Company on Saturday night at the Brooklyn Center at Brooklyn College, Ms. Li pushes that goal to the limits.   Keep reading »

  • Jazz musician of the year: Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on December 15th, 1997 in Profiles & Interviews

    If everything had gone according to plan, Wynton Marsalis would have taken a long, deep breath in 1997, stepping out of the public eye for a sorely needed sabbatical.   Keep reading »

  • A Tribute to Bechet, With Tunes, of Course

    Posted on November 22nd, 1997 in Review

    Eight horn players sat toward the front of the stage in a neat semicircle, on folding chairs; they shot one another sidelong glances and joked with one another, and except for the tuxedos, they looked as though they could have been in rehearsal. This was the lasting image from Thursday night’s concert at Alice Tully Hall, when Jazz at Lincoln Center put on its Sidney Bechet centennial concert, ‘‘The Wizard at 100.’’   Keep reading »

  • Gershwin Variations Raise Spirits and Cash

    Posted on November 12th, 1997 in Review

    For a jazz band, a concert program of George Gershwin’s music is like prime rib to a hound. There isn’t a reasonably educated jazz performer around who hasn’t internalized ‘‘Embraceable You,’’ or at least Charlie Parker’s rewriting of it; after Louis Armstrong’s and Miles Davis’s versions, every trumpet player knows the songs from ‘‘Porgy and Bess.’’   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis Shows Um Jazz Band A Lighter Touch

    Posted on September 30th, 1997 in Review

    Wynton Marsalis walked onstage unannounced Saturday, at the end of a performance by the University of Miami faculty quintet. The music had been very good up to that point, and the sold-out audience at Gusman Hall on the university campus appreciated what it was hearing.   Keep reading »

  • Keeping a Stageful of Stars to a Single Beat

    Posted on September 13th, 1997 in Review

    The drummer Elvin Jones, who was the implacable rumble suffusing the John Coltrane Quartet, has been celebrating his 70th birthday at the Blue Note this week. In the opening set on Tuesday, with a front line full of guests, the musicians reveled in simple, profound minor-key dirges taken from the post-1960 Coltrane school of hypnotism.   Keep reading »

  • Dizzy Gillespie, the Man and the Music

    Posted on September 13th, 1997 in Review

    Sometimes concerts break up into small parts of great brilliance, and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s ‘‘Dizzy’s Big-Band Bop,’’ the opening concert of its season and a tribute to the orchestral work of Dizzy Gillespie, did just that.   Keep reading »

  • N.Y. Gets Marsalis To Trumpet The Arts

    Posted on August 4th, 1997 in News

    Wynton Marsalis, the first jazz composer to win a Pulitzer Prize for music, is taking a seat on the New York State Council on the Arts in Albany.   Keep reading »

  • Returning Duke’s Love for a City

    Posted on July 2nd, 1997 in Review

    The thick knot of politicians heaved like longshoremen as they pulled on a yellow rope dangling from a pulley yesterday afternoon at Fifth Avenue and 110th Street. The band played ‘‘Satin Doll.’’ Lost somewhere in the cluster of raised arms were Bobby Short, the cabaret singer, and Robert Graham, the sculptor, who had made the event possible.   Keep reading »