December 16, 2018 – 4:20 am


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New York 2017 [no label, 2CD]

Big Band Holidays - Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Live at the Rose Theater, New York, NY; December 17, 2017. Very good audio (ripped from HDTV webcast).

Marilyn Lester, theaterpizzazz.com:

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JALCO) with Wynton Marsalis is always a treat to hear, especially around holiday time. No matter the weather or the cultural climate, their performance is a joyous lift into a happy place. With soulful jazz vocalists Catherine Russell and Kenny Washington returning this year, that trip to wonderland was even more special. Both singers are seasoned performers who are masters of phrasing, interpretation and that feeling of swing. On top of that, the JALCO, with its policy of promoting each and every band member with creative opportunity and liberally featured solos, is one of the sharpest, tightest groups to have ever graced a bandstand. Their precision sound is not only big and preternaturally in the groove, but full of complex musical ideas, contributed by those immensely talented players. Trumpeter and leader Marsalis makes an informative, genial host, with a penchant for wit and wry comedy. Setting this tone for the evening, the band opened with an uptempo swing version of “White Christmas,” bringing freshness to the (possibly overdone) standard.

Catherine Russell, whose smooth lower octave voice possesses reams of power, swung into a 1930s novelty hit, “What Will Santa Claus Say (When He Finds Everybody Swingin’?), toe-tappingly arranged in the syncopated swing style of the era by band trombonist, Chris Crenshaw. Russell also sang the original version (cut from the 1944 film, Meet Me in St. Louis) of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The guitar intro by James Chirillo was an effective mood-setter for the ballad, with lyrics more cynical than the final movie cut. The jazzy “Cool Yule” was an opportunity for Russell and the JALCO to swing out all the way, including an extended solo by the arranger, alto sax whiz, Sherman Irby.

Kenny Washington, with an impressive multi-octave range, sang and scatted through “My Favorite Things” in a Broadway jazz arrangement by alto saxophone player, Ted Nash. The arrangement cleverly took advantage of changing modulations, with the brass weaving in and out of a power sound between solos and Washington’s vocals. As an added treat, tenor sax player Walter Blanding executed an extended bop style solo, an homage to John Coltrane’s iconic 1961 soprano sax version of the song. Washington also deftly and smoothly handled the ballad “Christmas Time Is Here,” which the band entered through a dramatic brass intro. It was explained by Marsalis as the start of the season in Thanksgiving, from the demised turkey’s point of view. Washington and Russell teamed up for “Joy to the World,” with a traditional brass introduction that evolved into a delightful swing version of the carol.

Both band set closers showed the power and might of the JALCO in their crisp arrangements. The Act One finale was an antidote to the string-laden version of composer Percy Faith’s original of “Brazilian Sleigh Ride.” The update, arranged by band bassist, Carlos Henriquez, emulated the motion of a fast-moving sled with a subtle Latin beat. Ted Nash’s flute and muted trumpets kept the sound airy and swift. Victor Goines’ extended wailing clarinet solo was evocative of horses galloping along. Making a fine conclusion to the evening, with musicianship at its peak, the band played out with “Jingle Bells.” But this wasn’t grandma’s version of the standard. Dan Nimmer’s nimble piano solo led straight into hyper drive, with the JALCO swinging Ernie Wilkins’ arrangement of the number for the Count Basie Orchestra, a band renowned for its power swing playing. The House of Swing was never more festive. It was a hot jazz holiday gift guaranteed to warm a frigid night outdoors.

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Thanks to the uploader for sharing the HDTV webcast at Dime.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

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Disc 1 (Set 1)
Track 101. intro 2:48
Track 102. White Christmas 12:11
Track 103. What Will Santa Claus Say? (Catherine Russell, vocals) 4:00
Track 104. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (Catherine Russell, vocals) 8:29
Track 105. My Favorite Things (Kenny Washington, vocals) 10:11
Track 106. Brazilian Sleigh Bells - Part A 10:00
Track 107. Brazilian Sleigh Bells - Part B 11:25
Track 108. Brazilian Sleigh Bells - Part C/Intermission 7:54
67 mins

Disc 2 (Set 2)
Track 201. Sleigh Ride (Kenny Washington, vocals) 9:58
Track 202. Merry Christmas Baby (Catherine Russell, vocals) 7:44
Track 203. Cool Yule (Catherine Russell, vocals) 7:39
Track 204. Joy To The World (Catherine Russell & Kenny Washington, vocals) 8:49
Track 205. Jingle Bells 12:57
48 mins

Wynton Marsalis - trumpet
Marion Felder – drums
Dan Nimmer – piano
Carlos Henriquez – bass
James Chirillo – guitar
Marcus Printup – trumpet
Kenny Rampton – trumpet
Ryan Kisor – trumpet
Tatum Greenblatt – trumpet
Sam Chess – trombone
Vincent Gardner – trombone
Chris Crenshaw – trombone
Victor Goines – tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet, bass clarinet
Ted Nash – alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, flute, piccolo
Sherman Irby – alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, flute
Walter Blanding – tenor sax, soprano sax, clarinet
Paul Nedzela – baritone sax, bass clarinet
Catherine Russell – vocals
Kenny Washington – vocals

Click here to order Wynton Marsalis releases.

  1. 16 Responses to “JAZZ ON SUNDAY: WYNTON MARSALIS - NEW YORK 2017”

  2. Thanks much for this - one of our great jazz traditionalists still at it.

    By Tony on Dec 16, 2018

  3. Thanks for this posting..

    By Tom on Dec 16, 2018

  4. Thank you. Now you’re talking…

    By Lobo on Dec 16, 2018

  5. Rumor has it Wynton gots a big un

    By U L E on Dec 16, 2018

  6. Of course he has a big one U L E you birdbrain. He’s black and all black guys have big ones . Tell us something we don’t know

    By C Tony on Dec 16, 2018

  7. Two undisputed facts are All black dudes have horse Dics and all chicks prefer big ones .

    By C Tony on Dec 16, 2018

  8. It will be interesting to see if Smashmouth reckons this is jazz or not.

    I quite like jazz myself but much prefer Floyd, Who, Stones, Hendrix and the other icons of classic Anglo-American rock.

    By Waldo the Eel on Dec 16, 2018

  9. I realize everyone rails about this guy ‘ and he’s not as bad as many masquerading as jazz art artists here , but no way does he compare to the past greats . Miles ‘ Coltrane ‘ Montgomery ‘ Monk ‘ Parker etc . Thumbs down from me .

    By Smashmouth on Dec 17, 2018

  10. I don’t really care for large bands doing Jazz . To me nothing larger than a quintet is best . Understated is best ‘ Less is more when it comes to Jazz .

    By Smashmouth on Dec 17, 2018

  11. Miles Classic lineup during the late 50s early 60s featuring Coltrane and Adderly was the best ever Jazz lineup.

    By Smashmouth on Dec 17, 2018

  12. 16 Dec 1968
    I played Bath with Led Zeppelin
    On the first Led Zeppelin tour of the UK in 1968, we played the Bath Pavilion. Apparently, there is a contract for us receiving £75 / 50% for this date. We opened with Train Kept a Rollin.

    We were to play the Bath Festival of Blues six months later at The Recreation Ground, when we also opened the set with Train Kept a Rollin.

    One year later we topped the bill for The Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music, where we opened with Immigrant Song.

    By Jimmy Page on Dec 17, 2018

  13. Jimmy Page what date did you rip off willie dixon?

    By johnny christmas on Dec 17, 2018

  14. Jimmy “ you pervert . You robbed me of my innocence when I was only 13 . I was so enamored with you at the time . Jimmy how could you do this ? It was so great in the beginning as I thought you had the biggest one I had ever seen up to that point . The. David Bowie and Iggy Pop came along and showed be the true meaning of Big .

    By Lori Maddox on Dec 17, 2018

  15. I also balled Jimmy Page . Nothing special. Kinda small with a skinny girth . Plant and Bonham were both huge though and more than made up for it . It was backstage at the LA Forum in 1977

    By Groupie Chic Traci on Dec 17, 2018

  16. Jimmy would usually shoot up with smack before he went out on stage that year . He really couldn’t keep it hard after that .

    By Groupie Chic Traci on Dec 17, 2018

  17. Hey Jimi ‘ I’m still waiting on those live shows to be released. And please no hand of perfection in the studio with you and Kevin Shirley this time . No overdubs / edits etc . Complete shows with Bobs banter with the crowd intact. How about it Jimi ?

    By Keith Whitney alliass Jonah Lockwood on Dec 17, 2018

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