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  • New Tricks Introduced For a Cause

    Posted on September 12th, 1995 in Review

    Benefit concerts can bring out unusual behavior in performers. Freed from the responsibility of being a sole headliner, they can try new things or team up for one-time-only collaborations, even if fans still yell for the hits. At the Paramount on Sunday night, Pete Townshend played piano in public for the first time; Paul Simon sang harmony with him on “The Kids Are All Right.” Wynton Marsalis, famed for his jazz purism, lent trumpet solos to “You Can Call Me Al”; in the same song, Annie Lennox delivered a verse in a thick Scottish accent, while Mr. Townshend suddenly turned into a hoofer. The concert raised $850,000 for the Children’s Health Fund, which provides medical care for poor children.   Keep reading »

  • The Battle of the Bands, Part Two

    Posted on July 3rd, 1995 in Review

    Silence played a big part in the Battle of the Bands, a showdown between the jazz orchestras of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center on Friday night at Avery Fisher Hall. The concert, in its second year as part of the JVC Jazz Festival, featured two orchestras at their peak.   Keep reading »

  • Bill Cosby Leads Benefit For Jazz at Lincoln Center

    Posted on June 2nd, 1995 in Review

    One thing Lincoln Center’s benefit for its jazz program at Avery Fisher Hall on Wednesday night proved was that Bill Cosby, the night’s M. C., wasn’t to be challenged.   Keep reading »

  • Marsalis Officiates As Classical Weds Jazz

    Posted on May 9th, 1995 in Review

    Lincoln Center’s executives have for years been trying to arrange marriages, or at least trysts, between the center’s constituents, and on Sunday afternoon at Alice Tully Hall one of these unions bore fruit. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center collaborated on a program that brought together jazz-inspired classics and improvisations in classic jazz styles.   Keep reading »

  • Imitating Armstrong As a Form Of Praise

    Posted on December 22nd, 1994 in Review

    The two programs of Louis Armstrong’s music on Saturday and Monday nights, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of its series The Armstrong Continuum, clearly represented an enormous amount of work. Nearly 40 pieces were played, with Monday night’s program at Avery Fisher Hall digging deep into Armstrong’s rarely performed orchestral works and Saturday’s at Alice Tully Hall working through the revolutionary early works of Armstrong and King Oliver, among others. It is difficult music, and not just for Armstrong’s trumpet parts; the pre-swing rhythms are hard to make come alive, and the orchestral works, even the barest ones, were often complicated by show-biz virtuosity.   Keep reading »

  • It’s the End of the Riff for Wynton Marsalis’s Septet

    Posted on December 1st, 1994 in Profiles & Interviews

    Wynton Marsalis made news in his first set on Tuesday night at the Village Vanguard. Before he began to play, the trumpeter and band leader announced that this week’s engagement would be the last for his septet, one of the most influential and active bands in jazz.   Keep reading »

  • Wynton Marsalis Takes a Long Look at Slavery

    Posted on April 4th, 1994 in Review

    Wynton Marsalis’s skills have grown as fast as his ambition, and he is the most ambitious younger composer in jazz. On Friday night at Alice Tully Hall, he led the world premiere of his first work for big band, “Blood on the Fields,” a large composition—nearly three hours of music—about a vast topic, slavery. The piece was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center, of which Mr. Marsalis is the artistic director.   Keep reading »

  • Young Musicians Find A Future in the Past

    Posted on June 24th, 1991 in Review

    The trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who is 29 years old, was the seasoned elder at Avery Fisher Hall on Saturday’s double bill of Mr. Marsalis’s septet and Jazz Futures, an alliance of musicians in their 20’s.   Keep reading »

  • The Young Of Jazz: Not All Are Restless

    Posted on June 21st, 1991 in Profiles & Interviews

    JAZZ demographers, if there are any, will mark 1991 as a turning point for the annual JVC Jazz Festival in New York City. This year, the median age of headliners plummets by at least a decade.   Keep reading »

  • (Most of) The Marsalis Family in Concert

    Posted on November 4th, 1990 in Review

    There’s no generation gap in the musical taste of the Marsalis family of New Orleans. From the 55-year-old patriarch and pianist, Ellis Marsalis, down to the 13-year-old drummer Jason, the hard-bop of the late 1950’s and 60’s is the pinnacle of jazz, and they have led a revival of the style among young musicians.   Keep reading »