September 9, 2002 |
As the sun rose over Manhattan on Saturday morning, several musicians wearing crisp white shirts and impeccably pressed black suits and ties warmed up on their horns, their random notes piercing the early morning quiet and quickly drawing a crowd outside the Cotton Club in Harlem. After a few minutes, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis--sporting the ebony hat that marked him as the leader of the band--called a tune, put his horn to his lips and let out a glorious cry, while a horse-drawn carriage just ahead started rolling.
January 13, 2002 |
. . MARCUS ROBERTS, "Cole After Midnight", Columbia Wynton Marsalis long has called Roberts the "J Master" (as in "Jazz Master"), and with each recording, the pianist reaffirms the accuracy of Marsalis' assessment. If in previous outings Roberts has radically reinvented music of George Gershwin, Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton, among others, this time Roberts finds new layers of meaning and romance in tunes associated with Nat "King" Cole. Yet even though Roberts revisits Cole standards such as "Unforgettable" and "Too Young," Roberts' idiosyncratic interpretations are as original as if these were newly composed works.
September 15, 2001 |
Anyone who hadn't before appreciated the phenomenal resolve of New Yorkers does now, watching the city pull together with heroic spirit in the wake of its terrible tragedy. That ingrained New York confidence may also explain why the New York Philharmonic developed an extreme case of millennium fever. In the fall of 1999, the orchestra accepted Disney money to present two sentimental, overblown epic symphonies about hope by young American composers.
September 14, 2001 |
Jazz may seem to be little more than an irrelevant entertainment this week. There's no question that there are far more vital matters to claim our attention. But a society is defined by many qualities, and each of those qualities is inevitably affected internally by the others as well as externally by the constant effect of forces from outside.
June 9, 2000 |
The appearance of Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 18 will afford nearly 18,000 Los Angeles jazz fans the opportunity to experience the musical results of what is surely the country's most successful jazz program.
December 26, 1999 |
It's all well and good, and certainly necessary, to end this numerically momentous year with millennial overviews. But what about the more immediate situation--the old day-in, day-out struggle for survival in the arts? In other words, to be specific, what kind of year was 1999 for jazz? And what can we expect, millennium aside, from 2000? Like so many other periods in jazz, this year was a period of ups and downs, of remarkable accomplishments and unrewarded expectations.
November 12, 1999 |
Can the jazz world ever get too much of Wynton Marsalis? This year should be a good test. Next week, Columbia Jazz will release "Live at the Village Vanguard," a seven(!)-CD boxed set compiled from recordings made between 1990 and 1994 by Marsalis and his Septet at the New York jazz nightclub. This follows the issuance of eight previous CDs in jazz and classical settings, with the music ranging from Jelly Roll Morton and Stravinsky to a wide array of Marsalis originals.
June 6, 1999 |
Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis: music icons of the first order, their influence still resonating throughout the jazz world. In the case of Ellington, of course, the echoes have been ringing all year in this 100th anniversary of his birth. And nowhere more powerfully than at Lincoln Center, where Wynton Marsalis is stewarding an expansive array of Ellington celebrations. So then how did "Marsalis Plays Monk" sneak into the Marsalis record release schedule?
January 8, 1999 |
Wynton Marsalis, confidently striding across the stage at the Disneyland Hotel, is doing his thing. "You gotta play it, then replay, then replay it again, until you get it right," he tells the members of the USC Studio Jazz Band. Trumpet in hand, taking the ensemble slowly and carefully through a Duke Ellington tune, Marsalis is simultaneously teacher, coach, musical partner and role model.
May 24, 1998
Reader Joan Sapiro (Letters, May 10) huffily dismisses Wynton Marsalis' adaptation of Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale," declaring that "a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer might be more concerned with creating what he or she hears, rather than re-creating a master innovator's personal vision" and that Marsalis "should have more internal resources and less external concern for 'updating' the genius of, say, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and now Stravinsky."...