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Jazz at Lincoln Center and American Composers Orchestra Invite Patti Austin and Marcus Roberts for Gershwin and a Premiere
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Jazz at Lincoln Center and American Composers Orchestra Invite Patti Austin and Marcus Roberts for Gershwin and a Premiere

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Jazz at Lincoln Center
www.jalc.org

Gershwin
(Gershwin Bio)

Frederick P. Rose Hall
Rose Theater
Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center

Featuring the
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis, Music Director, Trumpet
Sean Jones, Trumpet
Ryan Kisor, Trumpet
Marcus Printup, Trumpet
Chris Crenshaw, Trombone
Vincent R. Gardner, Trombone
Elliot Mason, Trombone
Max Siegel, Bass Trombone
Sherman Irby, Saxophone
Ted Nash, Alto and Soprano Sax, Clarinet
Walter Blanding, Jr., Tenor and Soprano Sax, Clarinet
Victor Goines, Tenor and Soprano Sax, Bb and Bass Clarinet
Joe Temperley, Baritone and Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet
Dan Nimmer, Piano
Carlos Henriquez, Bass
Herlin Riley, Drums
James Chirillo, Guitar, Banjo

American Composers Orchestra
www.americancomposers.org
Steven Sloane, Principal Guest Conductor

Special Appearances by
Patti Austin on Vocals
Marcus Roberts Trio
With
Marcus Roberts on Piano
Roland Guerin on Bass
Jason Marsalis on Drums

Scott Thompson and Zooey Tidal: Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 17, 2006


Program:

George Gershwin:
Strike Up the Band, arr. Nelson Riddle, JLCO and ACO.
My Man’s Gone Now, arr. Robert Freedman, JLCO and ACO.
Just Friends, arr. Richard DeRosa, JLCO and ACO.
By Strauss, arr. Nelson Riddle, Patti Austin w/JLCO and ACO.
Embraceable You, arr. Nelson Riddle, Patti Austin w/JLCO and ACO.
Lady Be Good, arr. Michael Abene, Patti Austin w/JLCO.

Ray Noble:
Cherokee, arr. Richard DeRosa, JLCO and ACO.

Derek Bermel:
The Migration Series
i. The Landscapes
ii. After a Lynching
iii. A Rumor
iv. Riots and Moon’s Shine
v. Still Arriving
Derek Bermel w/JLCO and ACO.

George Gershwin:
Rhapsody in Blue, “Original Version”, Marcus Roberts Trio, JLCO, and ACO.


The American Composers Orchestra, led by Conductor, Steven Sloane, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis, also on trumpet, teamed for a combined, classically infused Gershwin repertoire, plus a world premiere and some rousing vocals. The world premiere, The Migration Series, a concerto for jazz band and orchestra, is dedicated to Wynton Marsalis and is based on Jacob Lawrence’s series of paintings about the African-American migration, South to North, early 20th Century. The movements depict Southern landscapes, emotions, Gospel, change, journey, arrival, joy, violence, rejection, poverty, urban energy, recollection, and repetition. Derek Bermel, the American Composers Orchestra Music Alive Composer-in-Residence, Clarinetist, is known as a dramatic composer and musician. He has premiered many new works, performed internationally, and collaborated for musical theatre and recordings. Mr. Bermel is also known as a rock bandleader/songwriter. Patti Austin has been singing onstage since the 1970’s, more recently on television, as well, and has recorded 16 solo albums. Marcus Roberts taught himself piano, after losing his sight as a child. He studied classical piano in Florida and has won many competitions and awards. (JALC Notes).

Steven Sloane, Principal Guest Conductor, ACO, and Wynton Marsalis, JALC Music Director, juggled a very full stage and a sold-out event with class and charisma tonight. George Gershwin, whose songs and concertos embody the true American spirit, was chosen as tonight’s showcased composer, and the eclectic program served this classy master of Jazz and Broadway melody with respect and pride. Marsalis was full of warmth, anecdotes, and his usual humor, a true host and raconteur, as he welcomed the orchestra as “accompanist to a jazz section”. Strike Up the Band opened this event, with a drum roll and busy brass. Marsalis played a sensational solo, and the guitar, trumpets, saxophones, and trombones provided steady backup. Other melodies in motion were My Man’s Gone Now and Just Friends. The ACO heavily relied on strings, but the combined effort was textured and fascinating.

Patti Austin, in clinging black, was literally in motion, herself, swaying and gesturing, with her hair falling in lovely waves, and she belted (By Strauss) and whispered (Embraceable You) and scatted (Lady Be Good) with personality and playfulness. Marcus Roberts’ closing interpretation of Rhapsody in Blue was contemporary in style, but original in orchestration. His solos seemed personal and possessed, as he raced about the keyboard in a fragmented, atonal version, rather than the romantic, resonant one so familiar to the audience. Yet, he garnered enthusiasm and attention. Even the slow clarinet introduction had a new staccato twist. Roland Guerin on bass and Jason Marsalis on drums added a different dimension to the fused orchestras. Roberts’ artistic liberty was refreshing, but I do look forward to hearing the familiar and melodic version once again.

Derek Bermel’s The Migration Series was introduced by Bermel, himself, prior to his clarinet collaboration. He spoke of his ancestors’ immigration to the US from Russia and his emotional identification with the Jacob Lawrence paintings. Numerous members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra were featured in singular solos, with muted trumpet, flute, and bass early on. Soft, repetitive, rippling piano chords appeared in the upper registers, with a New Orleans bluesy tone. Wailing brass, followed by silence, was startling and effective. Bermel, on staccato solo clarinet, added drama, and a 1,2,3,4 beat fused piano and percussion. Steady, exotic percussion merged with a melodic new theme, and the final, busy percussion was evocative of the new Northern, African-American soul, amidst musical imagery of renewed migration. Themes of initial hope, deep struggle, brief happiness, and subsequent suffering were woven throughout.

Kudos to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Steven Sloane, Patti Austin, Marcus Roberts, and Derek Bermel for an eclectic and energized Gershwin – new music program. Check www.jalc.org for current and upcoming concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center.



Patti Austin Sings with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the American Composers Orchestra with conductor Steven Sloane featuring the music of Gershwin
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart



Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the American Composers Orchestra with conductor Steven Sloane & the Marcus Roberts Trio featuring the music of Gershwin
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart



Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the American Composers Orchestra with conductor Steven Sloane & the Marcus Roberts Trio featuring the music of Gershwin
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart



Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the American Composers Orchestra with conductor Steven Sloane & the Marcus Roberts Trio featuring the music of Gershwin
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net