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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents The Wynton Marsalis Septet: "In This House, On This Morning"
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Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents The Wynton Marsalis Septet: "In This House, On This Morning"

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Jazz at Lincoln Center

In This House, On This Morning

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

The Wynton Marsalis Septet
(Wynton Marsalis Website)
Wynton Marsalis, Trumpet
Todd Williams, Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Wess “Warmdaddy” Anderson, Alto-Saxophone
Richard Johnson, Piano
Wycliffe Gordon, Trombone
Reginald Veal, Bass
Herlin Riley, Drums
Melonie Daniels, Guest Vocals

Zooey Tidal: Press

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 24, 2007

In This House, On This Morning
A Jazz Portrait of an Afro-American Church Service
Composed by Wynton Marsalis
Commissioned by Lincoln Center, World Premiere May 27, 1992
“Written in the order of an Afro-American church service…12 sections…”.

Part 1:
Call to Prayer
Representative Offerings
(The Lord’s Prayer)

Part 2:
(Introduction to Prayer)
(In This House)
(Choral Response)
Local Announcements
Alter Call
Alter Call

Part 3– In the Sweet Embrace of Life:
(Holy Ghost)
Up-tempo Postlude
Pot Blessed Dinner

What a thrilling work this is. Wynton Marsalis conceived of this concept in 1992, early in his career with Jazz at Lincoln Center. He re-configured an Afro-American church service in the jazz genre, with gospel, contemporary jazz, and bluesy refrains, all at once, infused with swing, atonal music, and upbeat religiosity. The three parts of the program, with intermissions between, are listed above. Marsalis’ Septet included Reginald Veal on bass and a rousing “Sermon”, which was placed between the equally rousing musicality of Part 3, after the more traditional plus atonal Parts 1 and 2. Melonie Daniels, on smoother than smooth vocals, was included in the prayer rituals.

Part 1 began with soulfulness, resonating brass, atonal, spare repetitions, mixed with melodic, ethereal wailing. Marsalis used his trumpet in every possible form, both clear and muted, inspirational and mournful. Part 2 infused hymnal ambiance, hand-clapping, and a building of volume and emotion. The yellow spotlight was symbolic of the lightening of the troubles of the soul. A swinging piano (Richard Johnson)/bass (Reginald Veal)/saxes (Todd Williams and Wess Anderson)/trombone (Wycliffe Gordon)/drums (Herlin Riley) riff, supported by Marsalis on trumpet, was transporting and energized. Part 3 included Veal’s Bass-Sermon and sensational swing that rocked Rose Theater.

This work provided numerous opportunities for Wynton Marsalis to showcase his extraordinary versatility, both as composer and performer, and his “hat mutes”, among other trumpet mutes, were seen often, as he did not overwhelm his six collaborators. Marsalis played edge, where edge was needed, perhaps evocative of the pain of the spiritual cleansing. He also led his Septet on brass like the leader of a New Orleans Funeral March, with passionate punctuation. Meanwhile, Wycliffe Gordon, on trombone, presented, as well, some of the fieriest and fiercest sound in the program, with seamless, pulsating, and electrically charged musicality.

Marsalis drew from the music of spirituals and the rhythm of prayers. He designed musical metaphors for the March of the Processional, the Congregational Responses, the introspective and pleading Alter Calls, the Benediction of God’s Blessing, and even the Pot Blessed Dinner at the finale. Wynton Marsalis is personally blessed with extraordinary creativity, talent, leadership, and personality. Jazz at Lincoln Center is truly blessed to have Mr. Marsalis as Artistic Director. Tonight’s program was not only riveting and thought-provoking. It was also historical, in that composer, Artistic Director, bandleader, and trumpeter were all one and the same, Wynton Marsalis. Kudos to Jazz at Lincoln Center for producing this meaningful event.

In This House
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

In This House
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

In This House - Drummer Herlin Riley banging out the rhythm.
Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at