Wynton Marsalis/Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra
Trumpet Legend Wynton Marsalis & Me
What a thrill it was to meet the great Wynton Marsalis. Many people believe him to be the best all around trumpet player to ever play the horn. The Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Marsalis, appeared in concert tonight at the Kentucky Center For The Arts in Louisville. Prior to the concert Kim Harrod and I met Wynton and listened to the orchestra as we stood onstage with them in Whitney Hall during a short rehearsal.
The concert was fantastic. Every player in the group was an outstanding soloist as well as being a great section player. Lead alto man Sherman Irby started the concert out right on his feature "On The Sunny Side Of The Street". The group played well known classics including "My Favorite Things", "All of Me", "Rhapsody In Blue", "Sweet Georgia Brown", and many others. The trumpet section included rising star Marcus Printup. He played a hot solo on W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues" and later on Dizzy Gillespie's "Night In Tunisia". Trumpeter Ryan Kisor shined on "I Can't Get Started". Scottish baritone saxman Joe Temperley was featured several times during the concert and played with a very sweet tone and lots of taste. They played outstanding arrangements by Oliver Nelson, Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson, and others. Wynton sounded great on "Autumn Leaves" and later stole the show when he came out for the encore and played the most burning version of "Cherokee" that I've ever heard. The tempo was blazing and he showed off technique, style, taste, and innovative improvisation that only he can execute on trumpet. I still can't believe what I heard. It was simply incredible.
Whitney Hall was packed and everyone there left happy and amazed by the musicianship they had witnessed. I saw musician friends Will Renshaw (guitar) and Dick Domeck (piano) in the crowd and know they enjoyed the concert as well.
After the concert Kim and I were invited as special guests to the hospitality room to meet with Wynton once again and with other orchestra members. Wynton thanked us for coming and autographed a gorgeous photo for each of us. In addition to being an amazingly gifted musician, he is a beautiful cat and deserves all the success that has come to him. He is a class act.