From the Wall Street Journal: Will Friedwald on “Wynton Marsalis at 50”

Whirling Through a Wynton Wonderland is Will Friedwald’s title in today’s Wall Street Journal. This is copyright protected, so just a riff.

Wynton Marsalis

“Trumpeter-composer-bandleader Wynton Marsalis has long acknowledged his debt to Duke Ellington—it’s hard to miss it in the specific voicings that he employs for trumpet and brass sections, and in the way those sections interact with one another. Yet it’s also there in the way he and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra deport themselves. Also, like Ellington, Mr. Marsalis has mastered the art of sequencing the most attractive sections from his many extended works. In fact, he often surprises this long-time listener, because the most joyous and hard-swinging selections turn out to be from long-form pieces that I never regarded as completely successful, like Back to Basics from Blood on the Fields. Wynton Marsalis at 50 is an exceedingly entertaining assemblage of highlights, a three-ring circus of a concert that keenly focuses on the expansive vision of a single maestro. “