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  • Wynton: Prophet in standard time - Downbeat (September 1990)

    Posted on September 10th, 1990 in Profiles & Interviews

    A rainy afternoon in Arlington Heights, IL. – just a mile up the street from the Italian-American Sports Hall of Fame – the photographer and his assistant convert one corner of Wynton’s hotel suite into a studio while he fiddles with his trumpet. Somebody tripped over it a couple days before and one valve sticks. “Do you have a name for your trumpet?” the photographer asks. “Johnson” Wynton replies, chuckles, and adds, “No, not really.”   Keep reading »

  • Some Respect for Jackie McLean

    Posted on August 7th, 1990 in Review

    A tribute to the alto saxophonist Jackie McLean on Saturday night at Alice Tully Hall really began two songs in, with the arrival of the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.   Keep reading »

  • A star too soon

    Posted on December 31st, 1989 in Profiles & Interviews

    BARELY 28 years old but already ten years into his professional career, the New Orleans born trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is regarded by many as a modern master. This is greatly premature; for as good as he appears to be, the adulation of Marsalis suggests a stature equal to the best trumpeters in jazz history, including Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis.   Keep reading »

  • Reviving the Sound and Feel Of Jelly Roll Morton’s Jazz

    Posted on August 9th, 1989 in Review

    Jelly Roll Morton’s music from the 1920’s and 30’s sounded anything but antiquated at ‘‘Mr. Jelly Lord,’’ the classical jazz concert that re-created Morton’s music for solo piano, duos, trios and a seven-piece band on Monday night at Alice Tully Hall.   Keep reading »

  • Playboy Throws a Hot Party at the Bowl

    Posted on June 19th, 1989 in Review

    The heat was on at the first day of the weekend’s 11th annual Playboy Jazz Festival. With Saturday’s temperatures climbing into the 80s under sunny skies, a sold-out crowd of 17,901 at the Hollywood Bowl warmed up to a varied program of jazz, fusion and ethnic music. All the usual accouterments—picnic baskets, beach balls and plenty of bottled beverages—made this the biggest party in town.   Keep reading »

  • Review/Jazz; The New Orleans in Wynton Marsalis

    Posted on March 30th, 1989 in Review

    His first note of the evening was a plunger-muted growl, and throughout the concert’s two sets he used the smears and rasps of early jazz along with the pure-toned, agile melodic style he is known for. Mr. Marsalis, a scholar of jazz-trumpet styles, has clearly been reinvestigating the work of Bubber Miley, who growled bluesy solos for the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the 1920’s.   Keep reading »

  • Signs of Intelligent Life in Music Television

    Posted on October 30th, 1988 in Review

    One evening this month as I was riffling through television by remote control, I happened to spot the stern, cherubic face of Wynton Marsalis. The young jazz trumpeter was the guest on a program called ‘‘New Visions,’’ a weekly two-hour series that airs on Sundays at 10 P.M. on the 24-hour cable music channel, VH-1.   Keep reading »

  • Pop Classics for Horn

    Posted on August 11th, 1988 in Review

    Jazz musicians rarely get credit for keeping Tin Pan Alley standards current through the rock era. Yet they continue to honor that repertory, both by reclaiming pop melodies with eloquent phrasing and by evading them to reveal ingenious harmonic structures.   Keep reading »

  • What Jazz Is - and Isn’t

    Posted on July 31st, 1988 in Profiles & Interviews

    My generation finds itself wedged between two opposing traditions. One is the tradition we know in such wonderful detail from the enormous recorded legacy that tells anyone who will listen that jazz broke the rules of European conventions and created rules of its own that were so specific, so thorough and so demanding that a great art resulted. This art has had such universal appeal and application to the expression of modern life that it has changed the conventions of American music as well as those of the world at large.   Keep reading »

  • Devilishly Entertaining

    Posted on April 29th, 1988 in Review

    Igor Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat” (“The Soldier’s Tale”) endures as one of the most haunting works in the 20th Century chamber repertory for at least two reasons. First, its startling dissonance and brittle instrumental writing sum up radical musical ideas that were emerging during the years of World War I (Stravinsky completed the piece in 1918). Second, its storyline—which traces the devil’s seductions and the consequences his victims must face—clearly holds universal appeal.   Keep reading »