Friday, October 24, 2008

Best. Concert. Ever!

Wow. It's all I can say. I just saw, hands down, the finest jazz concert of my entire life thus far. Perhaps for the rest of my life, I'm not really sure. Tonight was the "Big Band Bash", hosted by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Simultaneously on one stage were the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis dueling against the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra from California. They took turns trading songs for the first half of the show. LCJO would play an avant-garde piece like Ted Nash's "Dali" (his impressions of Salvador Dali synesthetically turned into music), and then CHJO would swing hard on a piece like "I Be Serious 'Bout Dem Blues". Back to LCJO playing an amazingly textured version of "Rhapsody in Blue", and then to CHJO's band leader bowing the jazz concerto "Emily" on Upright Bass. The second half of the show was the two groups jamming together, all the winds and pianos (dual grand pianos) together with the two rhythm sections trading off, culminating in "Battle Royal" which was actually done when the Duke Ellington and Count Basie orchestras were dueling 50 years ago.

By random chance, one of the LCJO trumpet players Marcus Printup was playing at the Y10A Friday night event last week, and I got a chance to chat with him for a while after the gig was over. I mentioned we would be coming to see him at LCJO in a few days and he said "Oh, drop by backstage then." So, I did, and I happened to run into Wynton Marsalis. What an amazing end to an already amazing concert!

Of course, we finished the evening with dessert at Cafe Lalo.


At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Brenda said...

I was there as well, and John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Jeff Hamilton and the rest of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra really SWUNG!It wasn't really a battle since both orchestras have a different sound, but both are equally awesome! It was fabulous that Wynton had John conducting as well. John won a Grammy this year for his arrangement of Queen Latifah's "I'm gonna live til I die." Bravo! A great night at Jazz at Lincoln Center!


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