All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Bailey's Bundles

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Jazz Quanta June: The Sacred Orchestral: Duke Ellington and Wynton Marsalis

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Music and the Christian Tradition are as intimately involved as making love. Since the beginning of an organized Christendom, music has been a part of the liturgy and celebration of what was to become the "Good News." Regardless of one's spiritual inclinations, this religious music looms large on the cultural horizon and cannot be ignored. While so-called "classical" music has provided many religious musical expressions, there have also been several notable jazz contributions to the form not the least of which were composed by Duke Ellington and his keeper-of-the-flame, Wynton Marsalis.

Claudia Burghard, Joachim Rust, Junges Vokalensemble Hannover / Klaus-Jurgen Etzold, Bigband Fette Hupe / Jorn Marcussen-Wulff
Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts
Rondeau
2016

Toward his twilight, Duke Ellington composed and performed three sacred concerts in 1965 -A Concert of Sacred Music; 1968 -Second Sacred Concert, 1973 -Third Sacred Concert. These were personal statements by Ellington, bearing his indelible stamp of grace and charity. There have been precious few, if any at all, performance of these pieces by other bands. Presently is the German concerns Fette Hupe & Junges Vokalensemble Hannover, under the directions of Klaus-Jürgen Etzold and Jörn Marcussen- Wulff, respectively, blow the dust off of several selections from the concerts, giving them a hard buffing to a high shine. Ellington's spacious orchestration is will captured and represented. Solo vocalists, Claudia Burghard and Joachim Rust bring a renewed energy to the pieces, updating them admirably to the 21st Century. This recording includes selections from the first two Sacred Concerts, including Ellington's touchtone "Come Sunday." This is a full-bodied, orchestral treatment of Ellington that once heard, brings Wynton Marsalis into a sharper focus.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra / Wynton Marsalis
An Abyssinian Mass
Blue Engine Records
2016

A past criticism I had of Wynton Marsalis was the silly thought that he, Marsalis, because of some blind dedication to jazz history and its giants, did not allow the music of to breathe when he arranged and performed. Well, after listening to the previous Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts and then listening to the present An Abyssinian Mass, I have decided that I had not listened broadly enough. To my ears, Ellington was the splash of water that opened up the Marsalis scotch enough for me to experience his art more fully. An Abyssinian Mass is not Marsalis' first foray into extended sacred jazz composition. The trumpeter released In This House, On This Morning (Columbia) in 1994, whose broad palette morphed into the bigger and tacitly related Blood on the Fields (Columbia, 1995) for which Marsalis won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for composition. While this is not a Roman Catholic Mass, per se, Marsalis has deftly blended traditions in an ecumenical fashion that should shame organized religion with its inclusion. This is white-hot, bright music that leaps sonically and pleases intellectually and spiritually.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part VIII Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part VIII
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 29, 2018
Read Ten Men Bailey's Bundles
Ten Men
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part VII Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women (Plus Three) 2018 – Part VII
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 9, 2018
Read Skip Heller, Birdie Jones, and Carnival of Soul Bailey's Bundles
Skip Heller, Birdie Jones, and Carnival of Soul
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 30, 2018
Read Seven Women 2018 – Part VI Bailey's Bundles
Seven Women 2018 – Part VI
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 17, 2018
Read Joyful Noise: Gregorian Chant by The Monastic Choir of St. Peter's Abbey of Solesmes Bailey's Bundles
Joyful Noise: Gregorian Chant by The Monastic Choir of St....
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 2, 2018
Read "At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight" Bailey's Bundles At the Louisiana Hayride Tonight
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "Holiday 2017 I – Georg Frederic Handel’s "Messiah"" Bailey's Bundles Holiday 2017 I – Georg Frederic Handel’s...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "Judy Carmichael: All Taken in Stride" Bailey's Bundles Judy Carmichael: All Taken in Stride
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "Five Women IX – Bianca Rossini; Cécile McLorin Salvant; Barbora Kabátkova; Alexis Cole; Suzanne Lorge" Bailey's Bundles Five Women IX – Bianca Rossini; Cécile McLorin...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Four Beethoven Symphony Cycles – Blomstedt, Blunier, Weil, and Martynov" Bailey's Bundles Four Beethoven Symphony Cycles – Blomstedt, Blunier,...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Skip Heller, Birdie Jones, and Carnival of Soul" Bailey's Bundles Skip Heller, Birdie Jones, and Carnival of Soul
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 30, 2018