All About Jazz

Home » Articles » New York Beat

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...

3

Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center

Nick Catalano By

Sign in to view read count
With a three-night gala celebrating the music of Jelly Roll Morton, the Jazz at Lincoln Center orchestra marked its 30th season at Rose Hall. Focusing on Morton's pioneer arranging achievements with amplifications of them from Jazz at Lincoln Center performers, the evening offered a penetrating exploration of the Creole legend's multifarious compositional musings and featured a quintet of sparkling piano soloists who recalled his keyboard wizardry.

The full breadth and scope of Morton's talents—his multiple syncopations, latin-textured musical voyaging, innovative instrumental voicings, and original stride pianism—have rarely received all-inclusive treatment but the JALC spectacular came close. And Morton's many times ridiculed ego has often resulted in wasteful pejorative commentary but Wynton Marsalis quickly got past that controversy by underscoring Morton's intellectual and creative singularity.

At the September 15th show regular JALC orchestra pianist Dan Nimmer began matters by introducing guest ivory virtuosi Aaron Diehl, Sullivan Fortner, Micah Thomas, and Joel Wenhardt each of whom recalled Morton's keyboard genius with improvisational excursions that had the audience shaking their heads in wonder. Rarely heard Morton tunes such as "Mr. Joe," "Ganjam," "Grandpa's Spells," and "The Pearls" were juxtaposed with standard Jelly Roll triumphs—"Black Bottom Stomp," "Sidewalk Blues," "King Porter Stomp," and "Jelly Roll Blues" (often cited as the first published jazz composition in 1905) -adding to the intrigue of Morton's far-reaching pen. An evening highlight was "Burnin' the Iceberg" arranged by a contemporary New Orleans Creole Victor Goines which featured playful trades from Marsalis and baritone saxophonist Paul Nedzela.

The ensemble muscianship and improvisational soloing of the JALC band has never been better. All of the usual suspects contributed—Marcus Printup, Ted Nash, (whose arrangement of "Black Bottom Stomp" was symphonic in scope) Carlos Henriquez, Sherman Irby, Vincent Gardner, Marion Felder, Walter Blanding—all parading their prescient ideas. And it is always gratifying to see the old master Marsalis sitting in the rear of the band preferring that attention be given to his sidemen up front. He has been JALC artistic director since its inception and his leadership has been formidable.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's New York Beat
Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 29, 2018
Read African-American Music: A retrospective at Jazz at Lincoln Center New York Beat
African-American Music: A retrospective at Jazz at Lincoln...
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 9, 2018
Read Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center New York Beat
Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard New York Beat
Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim New York Beat
John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola New York Beat
Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center" New York Beat Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim" New York Beat John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's" New York Beat Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard" New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Ann Hampton Callaway at Birdland" Live Reviews Ann Hampton Callaway at Birdland
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard" Live Reviews Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Seven Women 2018 – Part IV" Bailey's Bundles Seven Women 2018 – Part IV
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Tim Ries With Randy Brecker at Drom" New York @ Night Tim Ries With Randy Brecker at Drom
by Peter Jurew
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center" New York Beat Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Cologne Open 2018" Live Reviews Cologne Open 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 21, 2018