Originally released in 2002 as a stand-alone offering, Wynton Marsalis' sacred composition All Rise
will enjoy a reprising as part of Legacy Records re-issuing
of Marsalis' landmark collection, Swingin' Into The 21st
. A devotee of Duke Ellington
, Marsalis expands on themes and methods that Ellington himself investigated in his Sacred Concerts
of 1965, 1968, and 1973 (RCA, Prestige, RCA, respectively). All Rise
was originally commissioned by maestro Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic as the last of the millennial compositions of 1999. The composition was the culmination of a decade of Marsalis's musical thought where the trumpeter explored longer compositional styles coupled with an increased emphasis on sacred musicMarsalis' first since the release of 1994's In This House On This Morning
(Sony). The New York Philharmonic premiered All Rise
on December 29, 1999. In February 2001, Marsalis sent the score to Esa-Pekka Salonen, arranging a Los Angeles Philharmonic performance for September 13, 2001.
Then came the terrorist attacks of September 11th. After considerable discussion, it was decided that the performance would go on, recasting All Rise
with a completely new and unexpected perspective. This recording was made over the the next two days, September 14th and 15th as part of a Herculean feat of stamina by Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. All Rise
is a 12-movement suite incorporating a broad expanse of Americana. Ellington is certainly here in the big band passages like "Cried, Shouted, Then, Sung" (featuring Victor Goines
serpentine clarinet), "Look Beyond" (with an angular piano solo by Peter Martin
) and "Saturday Night Slow Drag." But Marsalis does not stop with Ellington. Louis Armstrong
and all of New Orleans culture is on hand, as well as Aaron Copland, William Grant Still, Virgil Thompson and Leonard Bernstein. His writing is as expansive as his subject and Marsalis fully invests himself in it.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Paul Smith Singers, The Northridge Singers of California State University at Northridge and the Morgan State University Choir provide the sonic glue holding together this mammoth composition. There is as much Carl Orff here as Robert Shaw in the choral directing and singing. Marsalis evokes tender and anger in equal measures in his choral writing, providing a proper Old Testament attitude in a slow drag parade down Rampart Street. All Rise
makes both a fitting elegy to 9/11 and addition to Marsalis' magnificent Swingin' Into The 21st
Personnel: Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet, composer; Paul Smith Singers, Morgan State
Choir, The Northridge Singers of California State University at Northridge;
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; Essa-
Pekka Salonen (conductor).