reCAP: Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra :: 2014.02.06
Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra brought their swing and cool jazz sounds last night when they visited The Capitol Theatre. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, is made up of fifteen of the finest soloists, ensemble players, and arrangers in jazz music today, and this was the first time they ever played up in Port Chester. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JALC Orchestra) are made of members from Mr. Marsalis’ septet as well as surviving members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and their magnificent talents shine through within the fifteen members, and the first 15 minutes of the show.
This was one of those nights where you turn your phone off. You settle into your seats. You enjoyed your wine and you made The Cap your home for the night. We were treated to classics from the iconic jazz master himself, Duke Ellington, with “Mood Indigo” and “Bragging in Brass.” The JALC Orchestra also played more contemporary tunes like Chick Corea’s “Windows” and a remake of Count Basie’s “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” with saxophonist Sherman Irby in the forefront, bantering with Mr. Marsalis on his trumpet.
Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” was an instant hit; you could hear the knowing sigh from the audience when Mr. Marsalis announced they were playing it. The band clapped in unison on Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance,” in 3/4 time, and soon enough the whole audience was also clapping in 3/4 time as well.
The band, full of multi-instrumental musicians, included a stand up bassist, a pianist and a drummer, as a typical jazz band. Then there was the roar of the horns, and sometimes, just the whisper of the horns. The pristine acoustics of The Capitol Theatre accentuated the clarity of the instruments.
The show, consisting of two sets with a short intermission in-between, set the tone where Wynton Marsalis was not only one of four trumpeters, he was the MC of the evening, bantering with us about small stories before he played the song. He sat in the back row of the orchestra, on a riser, next to the drummer; you had to look hard to find him. He sat their quietly. He played his heart out. He snickered with his band mates and clapped along with the rest.
Mr. Marsalis and the JALC Orchestra treated the audience to an evening that I don’t think will easily be forgotten. It was a very special evening at The Capitol Theater, one we can only hope that could be repeated, and I hope happens again very soon.