The Jazz Age: Music of Paul Whiteman
(Paul Whiteman Bio)
At the New
Frederick P. Rose Hall
Featuring Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra
Wynton Marsalis, Music Director
Wynton Marsalis, Trumpet
Sean Jones, Trumpet
Ryan Kisor, Trumpet
Marcus Printup, Trumpet
Ron Westray, Trombone
Andre Hayward, Trombone
Vincent R. Gardner, Trombone
Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Alto and Soprano Sax
Ted Nash, Alto and Soprano Sax, Clarinet, Flute, Piccolo
Walter Blanding, Jr., Tenor and Soprano Sax, Clarinet
Victor Goines, Tenor and Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet
Joe Temperley, Baritone and Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet
Aaron Goldberg, Piano
Carlos Henriquez, Bass
Herlin Riley, Drums
Special Guests: Bob Wilbur, Soprano Sax and Clarinet
Daryl Sherman, Vocals
(Daryl Sherman Website)
Vince Giordano, Tuba, Miscellaneous Instruments
James Chirillo, Guitar
Andy Stein, Violin
Scott Thompson and Zooey Tidal: Press
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 18, 2005
According to Will Friedwald in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Program Notes, the 1920’s American Bandleader Paul Whiteman was self-labeled as “The King of Jazz”. Whiteman’s star musicians were Bix Beiderbecke, on cornet, Frank Trumbauer, on saxophone, and Bill Challis, orchestral arranger. Additional program notes tell the audience that Whiteman began on viola and led a Navy band in World War I. It was Paul Whiteman, who commissioned George Gershwin to compose Rhapsody in Blue for a 1924 concert at Aeolian Hall in New York. (JALC Notes).
On my second visit to Frederick P. Rose Hall, I and my guest remarked constantly about the excellent acoustics and sight lines in this new venue in the Time/Warner building, which is one of several new jazz venues at Time/Warner, connected with Jazz at Lincoln Center. Wynton Marsalis read from detailed song and history notes, prepared by jazz pro, Phil Schaap, and these sometimes-humorous asides added warmth and depth to the concert. There was no “set list” in this combined two-set evening, and I hope all song titles are correct. If not, my readers will surely tell me.
A red, hot swing,Oh, You Have No Idea, opened the event, with Vince Giordano on playful tube flourishes. The renowned Bob Wilbur took a turn on clarinet, in this tuneful, tempting piece. In the next song, Andy Stein added class and charm with slow violin refrains, contrasting to the theme, in a Hawaiian touch. A racing and roaring Clarinet Marmalade, was introduced by Marsalis’ telling anecdotes of Whiteman and Wilbur. I’ll Never Be the Same,, with the honey-throated Daryl Sherman on vocals, was cheerful and resonant, with Stein adding a classical string motif.
Copenhagen, named for a brand of chewing tobacco, featured Giordano on exuberant tuba blasts of tone. I Love It, with tuba refrains, followed. Giordano’s tuba is a regal, commanding instrument, setting off golden hues through the stage spotlights. Wynton soon put down his trumpet and moved to the piano, a new sight for this critic. He sang, as well, and The Washboard Blues was presented with a slow, spiritual style. Black Beauty, with muted brass, featured bass and banjo, just before Wilbur added a mellow theme. Giordano took a vocal turn in a song about Aunt Phoebe Law, T’Ain’t So. Giordano is so eclectic, that he can fill in on vocals or one of his many instruments on a moment’s notice, and this time he grabbed the tuba.
Down-home, Louisiana music was soon apparent, and Louisiana was sultry and sensual. The Stampede, played by Louis Armstrong and composed by Fletcher Henderson, continued to energize this already energized audience. Wild trumpets were rampant, in homage to Louis Armstrong, and various horns played solo, such as that of the mesmerizing Marcus Printup. Duke Ellington’s first theme song, with a bluesy trombone introduction, would be a fantastic modern dance score. For this low-key tune, Printup used a mute. My Pretty Girl, featuring Wilbur, was followed by China Boy, a Savoy Swing stomp, that fades to a sudden halt.
Ms. Sherman returned with renewed vigor, and her voice was fluid, fashionable, and fancy, with Stein adding Django vibes to Sweet Dreams. Jelly Roll Morton’s Burn, Ice, Burn ended on Wilbur’s coy clarinet. What Are You Waiting For, Mary? presented a sensational sax, followed by tenacious trombones. Fletcher Henderson’s Variety Stomp, featuring Marcus Printup, took the sound to new dimensions, ending in a flash of brass. Another guest, James Chirillo, played a great guitar throughout this evening’s two sets.
Kudos to Wynton Marsalis, to Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and to special guests, Bob Wilbur, Vince Giordano, Daryl Sherman, Andy Stein, and James Chirillo.
Bob Wilbur solos w/ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra - Rose Theater
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center