CD review: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra & Wynton Marsalis – Jazz and Art 2019: Video, CD cover

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Music and paintings share so many characteristics – textures, colors, layers, line, form, shape – and when these two art forms come together, they create a bold new medium. Jazz and Art, the latest studio album from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, lets listeners experience that transcendent combination firsthand through seven imaginative works from celebrated composers.

Taking inspiration from artists like Romare Bearden, Piet Mondrian, and Stuart Davis, the Orchestra constructs elaborate, evocative soundscapes that joyously explore the act of creation.

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis (JLCO) comprises 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players today. Led by Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director, this remarkably versatile orchestra performs a vast repertoire ranging from original compositions and Jazz at Lincoln Center-commissioned works to rare historic compositions and masterworks by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Charles Mingus, and many others. The JLCO has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988, performing and leading educational events in New York, across the United States, and around the globe. Alongside symphony orchestras, ballet troupes, local students, and an ever-expanding roster of guest artists, the JLCO has toured over 300 cities across six continents. Guest conductors have included Benny Carter, John Lewis, Jimmy Heath, Chico O’Farrill, Ray Santos, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, Robert Sadin, David Berger, Gerald Wilson, and Loren Schoenberg. The JLCO was voted best Big Band in the annual DownBeat Readers’ Poll four years in a row (2013–2016).

In 2015, Jazz at Lincoln Center announced the launch of Blue Engine Records, a new platform to make its archive of recorded concerts available to jazz audiences everywhere. The first release from Blue Engine Records, Live in Cuba, was recorded on a historic 2010 trip to Havana by JLCO and was released in October 2015. Big Band Holidays was released in December 2015, The Abyssinian Mass came out in March 2016, and The Music of John Lewis came out in March 2017. Handful of Keys, featuring a group of all-star guest pianists, arrived in September 2017. To date, 14 other recordings featuring the JLCO have been released and internationally distributed: Vitoria Suite (2010); Portrait in Seven Shades (2010); Congo Square (2007); Don’t Be Afraid…The Music of Charles Mingus (2005); A Love Supreme (2005); All Rise (2002); Big Train (1999); Sweet Release & Ghost Story (1999); Live in Swing City (1999); Jump Start and Jazz (1997); Blood on the Fields (1997); They Came to Swing (1994); The Fire of the Fundamentals (1993); and Portraits by Ellington (1992). Visit jazz.org for more information.

Wynton Marsalis (Trumpet) is the managing and artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and a world-renowned trumpeter and composer. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961, Marsalis began his classical training on trumpet at age 12, entered The Juilliard School at age 17, and then joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. He made his recording debut as a leader in 1982, and has since recorded more than 60 jazz and classical recordings, which have won him nine Grammy Awards. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammys in the same year and repeated this feat in 1984. Marsalis is also an internationally respected teacher and spokesman for music education, and has received honorary doctorates from dozens of U.S. universities and colleges. He has written six books; his most recent are Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!, illustrated by Paul Rogers and published by Candlewick Press in 2012, and Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life with Geoffrey C. Ward, published by Random House in 2008. In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields, which was commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2001, he was appointed Messenger of Peace by Mr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and he has also been designated cultural ambassador to the United States of America by the U.S. State Department through their CultureConnect program. Marsalis was instrumental in the Higher Ground Hurricane Relief concert, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center. The event raised more than $3 million for the Higher Ground Relief Fund to benefit the musicians, music industry-related enterprises, and other individuals and entities from the areas in Greater New Orleans who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Marsalis helped lead the effort to construct Jazz at Lincoln Center’s home—Frederick P. Rose Hall—the first education, performance, and broadcast facility devoted to jazz, which opened in October 2004.

Tracks

01. Stuart Davis for the Masses: The Mellow Pad
02. Stuart Davis for the Masses: Garage Lights
03. Stuart Davis for the Masses: New York
04. Blue Twirl
05. Bearden (The Block)
06. Air, Earth, Fire, Water (Orisha Medley)
07. Winslow Homer: Homer’s Waltz
08. Winslow Homer: Homer’s Blues
09. The Repose in All Things
10. Twilight Sounds

Wynton Marsalis – Music Director, Trumpet
Ryan Kisor – Trumpet
Kenny Rampton – Trumpet
Marcus Printup – Trumpet
Vincent Gardner – Trombone
Chris Crenshaw – Trombone
Sam Chess – Trombone
Sherman Irby – Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet
Ted Nash – Alto and Soprano Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet
Victor Goines – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
Camille Thurman – Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet
Paul Nedzela – Baritone and Soprano Saxophones, Bass Clarinet
Dan Nimmer – Piano
Carlos Henriquez – Bass
Jason Marsalis – Drums

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