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Author Topic: Wynton Marsalis  (Read 755 times)
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Pteranabone

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« on: Feb 19, 2017, 12:22AM »

I picked up one of his classical CDs today and it reminded me what a monster he was in both idioms when he emerged on the scene.   If I recall, he stopped playing classical music to focus on jazz for cultural/racial reasons.  What a loss for us listeners, because he was excellent at both.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #1 on: Feb 19, 2017, 07:07AM »

 If I recall, he stopped playing classical music to focus on jazz for cultural/racial reasons. 

Has he actually said that?

If there's a "cultural" reason for not doing classical music maybe it's just that there's no money in it. The classical market is microscopic now compared to even the 80's when he did most of his classical albums.

He did put out two classical CDs in 2002.



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Robert Holmén

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slideorama

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« Reply #2 on: Feb 19, 2017, 08:54AM »

There are online debates on Wynton that would make our 1 1/2G  mouthpiece thread look like a preface to the Illiad.

In my opinion, he has said (played) all he needs to about western european classical music. The dude went through all the retro this, classical that, neojazz this, anti-bop this before most kids on this forum were born.

Focus on what he has to offer, because it is priceless and will dwindle and disappear when he leaves this earth. He has the most unique perspective on blues and harmony melting together through African and American forms. I'm not saying he owns this, but instead of building upon this and moving forward like most have, he has widened this experience through his playing, composing, and advocacy. He's the Alt-Jazz leader of the blues.
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Michael Lawson
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 19, 2017, 05:15PM »

I know Wynton -

He told me that he stopped playing Classical music mostly because of time constraints. When he took over the Jazz at Lincoln Center program, he had a fair amount of administrative work and fund raising to do, as well as running the big band, so he had to set priorities for his performing time. He also had a lip injury some time ago, and setting those priorities made sense for ensuring that he didn't re-injure himself. I don't know anything about any political reasons for that decision.

Wynton was one of the most prolific practicers that I ever saw during our school years. A break in an orchestra rehearsal might be an opportunity to jam with a vibes player - he just loved to play, and it was infectious for those around him. Great guy and great player - i love to hear all of his recordings in all genres.

Jim Scott
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 19, 2017, 08:54PM »

Check out his CD with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He circular breathes through entire movements of Carnival of Venice and other classic trumpet solos. Amazing stuff.
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Pteranabone

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« Reply #5 on: Feb 19, 2017, 09:34PM »

Thanks for the recommendations on the Eastman wind ensemble album and the 2002 recordings.   

My listening has been focused on jazz for the last few decades  but I recently started buying more classical music  which led me to rediscover Wynton's work from the 80s.   In the early 90s, I remember reading or hearing one or more interviews when he discussed moving away from European classical music to focus on jazz, blues and other art forms that had their foundations in the African American experience, with which he identified and had a passion.    It sounds like others with a better memory than me or that know him personally  have a better understanding of the drivers behind his decision to focus on jazz.  As a jazz fan, I am glad he did in one sense because he has developed into one of jazz's best ambassadors, scholars and historians.  Still, those classical recording are pretty sweet…
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