On March 28th, 2014, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performed works by Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington.
“By spotlighting music from both artists’ enormous oeuvres in a single program, the orchestra shed light on the similarities of jazz giants often perceived as contrasting figures.
…Mingus’ music surely builds on Ellington’s precedents (as does almost everything in jazz), vigorously developing its harmonic, rhythmic and tonal vocabularies. The centerpiece here was Ron Westray’s arrangement of four pieces from Mingus’ “Tijuana Moods” album, the orchestra riding the twists and turns of this tremendously ornate music with considerable technical elan. Marsalis’ whirring, high-register trumpet flurries on “Dizzy Moods,” Elliot Mason’s lusty trombone exhortations in “Los Mariachis” and Victor Goines’ muscular tenor saxophone solo in “Ysabel’s Table Dance” stood out.
But, ultimately, it was the riot of sound that the ensemble produced, while somehow making sure that the motifs of individual orchestral sections rang out, that represented the greatest feat of this performance. That the band also looked at Mingus’ introspective side, in a warmly whispered version of his “Self-Portrait in Three Colors,” deepened one’s appreciation for the composer’s range and the performers’ sensitivity to it.”
The program will include “Better Git It In Your Soul,” “Fables of Faubus” and “Haitian Fight Song” by Mingus and “Stars Fell on Alabama” by Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parish.
The Tuesday Night Jazz Combo includes Justin Lindsay on soprano saxophone, Tajh Derosier on tenor saxophone, Max Spedale on trumpet, Edgar Avilan on piano, Jimmy Leach on vibes, Adam Leblanc on bass and Nestor Mercado on drums.
In an episode airing Wednesday, January 15th, 2014, Mingus’s composition Love Chant will be featured in an episode of Dick Wolf’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, starring Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson.