465

Wynton Marsalis: Live at the House of Tribes

Samuel Chell By

Sign in to view read count
Wynton Marsalis: Live at the House of Tribes Wynton Marsalis' dominance seems at times so complete that it's easy to either become suspicious of the musician represented by the vita sheet, or take it as a given that he's the world's greatest trumpet player, if not music-maker. Live at the House of Tribes offers little conclusive evidence for either position, but it certainly makes the case for a non-controversial middle ground.

The program appears designed to appeal to a wide audience within the liberal spectrum of mainstream modern jazz. The opening selection, Monk's rarely heard "Green Chimneys," is a riff-driven, primarily single-chord piece introduced over an infectious boogaloo street beat—an ideal vehicle, in other words, for introducing the musical personalities of the band. "Just Friends" is taken at an uncharacteristically laid-back tempo, with Latin percussion and heavy emphasis on the off-beats. "You Don't Know What Love Is" and "Donna Lee" are the two least compromising performances on the date, the latter conjuring up the ghosts of Bird, Diz, and 52nd Street halcyon days. "What Is This Thing Called Love," normally a bebop staple, returns to the accessible rhythmic feel of "Just Friends," and the closer, "2nd Line," is an elemental New Orleans blues march that's obviously a crowd-pleaser.

Listening to Marsalis on this occasion, I couldn't help but notice no small amount of Clark Terry's influence on his playing. Like Terry, he alternates between a classically pure sound and occasional vocal effects, and he's continually playful and engaging, teasing his audience with minimal virtuosity before cutting loose. If his playing lacks passion and drama, it more than compensates with consummate technical command and undeniable flare.

Although producer Delfeayo Marsalis seems to have had microphones placed at select tables to convince us that the audience was eating up every note, he's otherwise to be commended for the audio quality of the recording. The sound has depth and natural presence, without the annoying boosting of the bass that's endemic on recording sessions these days. The other musicians on the date—especially alto saxophonist Wessell Anderson—manage to impress while attending to their supportive roles. Overall, a solid entry by Mr. Marsalis and a spirited musical party by his ensemble.


Track Listing: Green Chimneys; Just Friends; You Don't Know What Love Is; Donna Lee; What Is This Thing Called Love; 2nd Line.

Personnel: Wynton Marsalis: trumpet; Wessell "Warmdaddy" Anderson: alto saxophone; Eric Lewis: piano; Kengo Nakamura: bass; Joe Farnsworth: drums; Robert Rucker: tambourine; Orlando Q. Rodriguez: percussion.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2016
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2016
Read "Live InTokyo" CD/LP/Track Review Live InTokyo
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 12, 2016
Read "A Matter Of Instinct" CD/LP/Track Review A Matter Of Instinct
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "You'll See" CD/LP/Track Review You'll See
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!