Wynton to perform Jazz, Tap & Theater at JALC

On April 16-18, 2009, Wynton and JLCO will perform new music for three concerts entitled: Jazz, Tap and Theater. It features music, dance, oration and world premiere music by trombonist Vincent Gardner. Wynton Marsalis’ “Spaces” will also be performed, five movements showcasing the tap dance of Dewitt Fleming Jr. and Jared Grimes.

Gardner’s work, called the “Jesse B. Semple Suite,” is inspired by the great 20th century author Langston Hughes and his collection of “Simple Stories” about the fictional Jesse B. Semple, an ordinary man-about-town of 1940s and 1950s Harlem.
Check a short video clip, live from the rehearsals at JALC on Wynton’s public profile on Facebook

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  1. On friday night, they were some beautiful moments in Vincent Gardner Jesse Semple Suite. Unfortunately I did not write down the order so I do not quite remember. Yes it was a comment on the story being well acted, not an embellishment like in a “Broadway Musical” style. Great attempt, with more focused one to come I am sure.

    Tne 2nd part with Spaces by Wynton, reached a very high level. It tooks me a while to get used to the simple fact that the dancing was mostly a mimicing of the music, with of course some slick and developed input from Jared Grimes and Dewitt Fleming Jr.
    The sophistication of the writing, purely imitating first Chickens, second a Monkey, third a Snake, fourth Swallows and finally Frogs, with exact precision reached through I am sure, not quite easy types of sounds to get out of those instruments, demonstrated a high level of first observation of those animals, imagination, re-creation and dedication to render justice to those beautiful creatures in their natural environment.
    The Swallows were ESPECIALLY wonderful, and completely transported me back to many summer lazy early evenings spent watching them getting ready to move on south.
    This did NOT sounded like it had been done in a hurry,
    but it had been carried over a good while, like you carry a baby and it is finally born!
    It HAS to be shared MANY more times with many more people!
    And the orchestra got the job DONE!

    I was at AWE hearing such sophistication and precision.
    He OUTDID himself on this one.

    He did what Duke Ellington would have done, if he had kept on going.

    Frederique on Apr 27th, 2009 at 8:19pm

  2. No storyline per say. Straight-ahead shape articulations mimicing the physicality of the particular animal under study and arranged movement traveling through space in both duo and solo form, punctuated with sharp tap phrases expressing cohesive rhythmic structures inside the jazz music.

    Karen on Apr 22nd, 2009 at 10:31pm

  3. But is there an story or just like a Zoo/Wilderness/Wood promenade, so to say?.

    The cowbell and washboard thing “sounds” good; I like the kind of farm sound. Wynton’s Reeltime has a lot of that country and farm atmosphere, more with violin but as well country and farm sound.

    careba on Apr 22nd, 2009 at 12:26pm

  4. Animal movement characteristics and sounds, enhanced by jazz style improvisations and rhythmic conversations between drums, horns, piano, bass, and feet. Oh yeah, with a little bit of cowbell and washboard.

    Karen on Apr 21st, 2009 at 11:17pm

  5. Thanks Karen for info,
    I kind of visualize your description.
    What’s the narration/story about in “Spaces” with so many animals?.

    Careba on Apr 21st, 2009 at 9:03pm

  6. I watched spaces from overhead. The orchestra was over to the side, as the 6 panel tap floor was laid with a slight diagonal facing for the two tappers.

    Karen on Apr 21st, 2009 at 6:44pm

  7. I didn’t get to go because I was working but a source in the show said it went great!!!!!!

    marchell jackson/songwriter on Apr 19th, 2009 at 2:42pm

  8. Going on Saturday, C., I’ll let you know…

    Karen on Apr 17th, 2009 at 1:48pm

  9. How did it went???

    careba on Apr 17th, 2009 at 10:15am