Wynton Marsalis performs albums for the past 30 years, since the release of his namesake of Columbia. By the bias of all but the first six of those years, he was not only famous trumpeter and the composer but also the public face of Jazz at Lincoln Center, an organization built around his vision and in many ways still propelled by it.Wynton Marsalis with pianist Dan Nimmer at the Rose Theater. The latest on the arts, coverage of the events live, critical reviews, extravagance multimedia and much more. Join the discussion.
This overlap says long on the reception of Mr. Marsalis music tends to be received in some quarters however, effectively ignored in others. And this helps to explain the difficulty of disentangling the fruits of Mr. Marsalis as an artist of his function as artistic director. ("Suite of Vitoria," released last fall on Emarcy, documents one of his most recent works for Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra;) "Here go us again,"(just on Blue Note, features him with Willie Nelson and Norah Jones, in a program of the season 2009)""
On Thursday, the first night of a residence of three nights at the Rose Theater, Mr. Marsalis showed his own music, search for food until 1985. Much of his recent writing has been large sets, but here he himself limited to two smaller: his current quintet (in the first half) and a version of his septet of the 1990s (in the second). A retrospective study, it was slanted and incomplete. as a concert, he was informed, robust and engaging, with Mr. Marsalis himself as a superlative.
It is among the precious few instrumentalists jazz - let alone trumpeters - can convey emotion spreading through the harsh lens of virtuosity. Again and again, he focused the energies in the room with a single sentence or, Taborn, an unpredictable stream. On "The Majesty of the Blues," which opened the second half, he used a plunger mute to shaping a manifesto of the guttural grunts and trills high. "Sparks," a lively blues featured on a commercial iPod, had him breezing through a slalom croche, as young Clark Terry.
What has changed over the years, much more than his command as a soloist, is the dynamic in its groups.
"Most of these gentlemen here I taught when they were in high school,"he said of his quintet with saxophonist Walter Blanding Jr., pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Carlos Henriquez and drummer Ali Jackson."" They have opened with "Black Codes," the anthem at a time when the Working Group of Mr. Marsalis was a combative peer group. In a way that refine felt wan and conscientious, and it was one that followed, one in two rickety steps called "You me and.." They were not out of a good start.
Corrective arrived quickly, with "First time", a melody involving breed rhythms and complex sound melody engraved by Mr. Marsalis and Mr. Blanding. Once this bar had been authorized, the band relaxed: "Doin' (Y) our thing," another fairly recent piece, sparkles with Copland-esque harmony, sound fresh and insured.
But there is so much more than soul and slang in the Septet - featuring musicians such as drummer Herlin Riley, Wessell Anderson alto saxophonist and bassist Reginald veal, all contemporaries of Mr. Marsalis - it has generated a visible imbalance. This framework was experience; part of it has been the urgency of the writing of Mr. Marsalis for a group of average size, with its front line of four men. It is not composed always not something more powerfully soulful as "Sunflower", which ended the night in a jubilant State.
This play was borrowed from "The Marciac Suite" (Columbia), released in 2000. has therefore been "Miss of Gascony," which came in the first half. A hot but melancholic ballad, he understood Mr. Marsalis squarely, and he replied with a masterful, laconic and lovely and poignant test. The eruption of cheers that followed was for him and him alone.
Wynton Marsalis performs once more on Saturday at the Rose Theater, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th Street and Broadway. (212) 721-6500, jalc.org.