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The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Plays Miles Davis at Rose Theater
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The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Plays Miles Davis at Rose Theater

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Jazz at Lincoln Center
www.jalc.org

Presents:

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Plays Miles Davis


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Wynton Marsalis, Managing and Artistic Director
Greg Scholl, Executive Director

At
Frederick P. Rose Hall
Rose Theater
Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Chris Crenshaw, Music Director, Trombone
Wynton Marsalis, Trumpet
Ryan Kisor, Trumpet
Kenny Rampton, Trumpet
Marcus Printup, Trumpet
Vincent Gardner, Trombone
Elliot Mason, Trombone
Sherman Irby, Alto Saxophone
Ted Nash, Alto Saxophone
Victor Goines, Tenor Saxophone
Camille Thurman, Tenor Saxophone
Paul Nedzela, Baritone Saxophone
Dan Nimmer, Piano
Carlos Henriquez, Bass
Ali Jackson, Drums

Zooey T. Jones, JALC Director, Public Relations
Rebecca Kim, JALC Asst. Director, Public Relations

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 9, 2018


Read about Miles Davis here.

Once again Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Orchestra performed a riveting, informative, and poignant concert, this time a tribute to the late, great, incomparable, Miles Davis. Wynton is the consummate educator, and, as an educator myself, I arrive at Rose Theater prepared to learn about composers, compositions, jazz history, and the musicians on the stage. I am never disappointed and always in awe of the tremendous effort that Wynton’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra makes to give its audience the most meaningful and comprehensive aesthetic experience possible. Tonight, Wynton turned the microphone over to trombonist, Chris Crenshaw as Music Director for the evening. Chris Crenshaw was powerful in his vocal projection and clarity, elucidating each of the twelve pieces performed with fascinating historical detail. He initially spoke about the 20th century jazz pianist, Gil Evans, who had renowned open houses for jazz jams. Wynton Marsalis is to be immediately commended for his organizational style, with such memorable, and often humorous, jazz education content, in spoken anecdotes and written, programmatic notes and format.

Tonight’s twelve presented works were arranged and adapted by either Evans, Gerry Mulligan, or members of the band, including Marcus Printup, Crenshaw (several), Sherman Irby, Carlos Henriquez, and Ted Nash. The first piece of tonight’s concert, with the band, early on, in nonet (nine musician) format, was Miles Davis’ “Deception”. Irby’s alto sax solo, with Printup on trumpet and Crenshaw on trombone, joined to create atonal, rhythmic ebullience to draw the packed JALC fans close to the sound. The next piece, Davis and Evans’ “Boplicity”, was smooth big band sound. Nash on alto sax replaced Irby onstage, and a tuba was added to the mix, as well, merging into the melody. Paul Nedzela, on a featured baritone sax was joined by Printup on an impressive trumpet solo, hovering over the backdrop of the Orchestra. Then, Wynton played a gorgeous, spellbinding trumpet solo that soared through the hall. Davis’ “Half Nelson” had Wynton moving to the back row, with Irby front and center. Irby’s alto sax and Ryan Kisor’s muted trumpet, along with Victor Goines’ resounding tenor sax, created a warm, dynamic vibrancy in the moment. Vincent Gardner’s trombone solo rolled notes like a train.

George and Ira Gershwin and Dubose Heyward’s “Gone”, we were told, took thirteen takes for the recording. Ali Jackson’s heralding drums and a trumpet ensemble flourish opened this piece. Kenny Rampton stood in the back row for his sumptuous trumpet solo. The house lights turned blue, purple, and red as atmospheric effect. A swing rhythm ensued, danceable and sassy. Davis’ “Something Else” followed with a trumpet ensemble opening, then Gardner’s earthy, bluesy, and soulful trombone. After several takes on the theme, Camille Thurman, on tenor sax, played a sensuous, sensational solo, with Carlos Henriquez accompanying on bass. Dan Nimmer, on piano, added a joyful, breezy variation, with the JALC orchestra in strong dynamic. Davis’ “Milestones” was racing, skipping, and effervescent, with extraordinary solos by Wynton and Nash. The piece ends in an echoing piano-sax thematic duet. Davis and Victor Feldman’s “Seven Steps to Heaven” opens with Henriques’ bass solo, with the introductory notes blasting in a step rhythm. Nedzela, on baritone sax, stands for his tuneful solo, followed by Jackson on spotlighted, rambunctious drums. Elliot Mason, on trombone, is followed by Kisor on trumpet.

Davis and Ron Carter’s “Eighty One” opened with a buoyant, resonant bass-piano duet. Printup and Mason added a trumpet-trombone rolling caravan motif, before the work ended in Printup’s resounding brassy solo. Davis and Feldman’s “Joshua” once again featured Printup in a wild and rambling trumpet solo. I noted that I will eagerly look on You Tube for Miles playing some of these same pieces in the coming days. Nimmer’s absorbing piano solo, with Henriques’ bass on its heels, resulted in the audience’s giant applause. Davis’ “Drad Dog” featured Wynton on a breathtaking, muted trumpet. This was an exquisite moment, with Wynton bringing the tonal quality of Miles right onto the JALC stage. Thurman, on a smooth, soothing tenor sax, along with piano and bass, made this a most memorable excerpt of the expansive program.

For Miles’ “electric period”, as Crenshaw noted in his impressively lucid comments, we heard Davis’ “Tout de Suite”. Nash, on flute, and Kisor, on muted trumpet, created a film noir ambiance, pulsating, urban, and atmospheric. Wynton, playing so masterfully in his element, joined in, with Irby and Goines on a duo sax conversation. Trumpets and trombones, in muted eloquence, wailed in the dark. Davis’ “Wrinkle” closed this magnificent program, after Crenshaw regaled the crowd with tales of Miles walking off the bandstand, leaving the musicians to finish a concert. Then Crenshaw walked around the band to a standing microphone, for his own featured trombone solo, followed by Nash and Kisor’s sax-trumpet finish. Kudos to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and kudos to Miles Davis, whom I had the great pleasure to see and hear, decades ago, one summer night.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net