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  • 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 »

  • Wynton Marsalis Plays Cornet Showpieces

    Posted on March 25th, 1987 in Review

    Wynton Marsalis’s latest demonstration of classical virtuosity is a revival of showpieces written by, and for, the cornetists who led bands at the turn of the century.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis: Smashing The Stereotypes

    Posted on December 21st, 1986 in Profiles & Interviews

    Wynton Marsalis is a taste maker beyond his influence as a musician. You see it in his life style, his personal appearance and his influence on young people, particularly young black people.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis Plus Four At Westwood Playhouse

    Posted on November 20th, 1986 in Review

    The career of Wynton Marsalis has entered a new phase. After a hiatus following the departure of his brother Branford, during which he led a quartet, the 25-year-old prodigal son of the trumpet has returned to the old format by hiring Don Braden, a saxophonist from Louisville.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis Quintet has good, bad moment

    Posted on October 27th, 1986 in Review

    The great alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley once said, “Never trust a man in a clean trench coat.” I doubt if he was thinking of Wynton Marsalis, whose quintet played Sunday night at the Civic Center, since Marsalis was probably still running around New Orleans in knee pants when Adderley’s horn was silenced.   Keep reading »

  • A Gentlemen With a Mean Horn

    Posted on September 21st, 1986 in Profiles & Interviews

    Wynton Marsalis fingers a cornet. America’s wunderkind from New Orleans is a modest, mellow and articulate fellow, and he’ll be 25 next month. What’s more, his fifth CBS jazz record, “J Mood,” is in the stores, and he’s in the mood to chat.   Keep reading »

  • Review: Black Codes (From the Underground)

    Posted on October 13th, 1985 in Review

    When Wynton Marsalis first emerged as a 19-year-old prodigy in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the trumpeter’s ardent defense of acoustic jazz was heartening. Here was a musician with enough technique to win classical Grammys and enough charisma to land on magazine covers, and he was devoting himself to a tradition whose rewards were more esthetic than financial.   Keep reading »