×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wynton Marsalis Quintet

Wynton Marsalis turned up at Disney Hall Monday night, leading his quintet of like-minded musicians, backing the lustrous-voiced young singer Jennifer Sanon, keeping his vaunted horn skills in shape. With all that he has to do these days, it's amazing that he still has the time and energy to go out on the road.

With:
Band: Wynton Marsalis, Walter Blanding Jr., Dan Nimmer, Carlos Henriquez, Ali Jackson, Jennifer Sanon.

Wynton Marsalis turned up at Disney Hall Monday night, leading his quintet of like-minded musicians, backing the lustrous-voiced young singer Jennifer Sanon, keeping his vaunted horn skills in shape. With all that he has to do these days — running Jazz at Lincoln Center, composing, teaching, writing, proselytizing, helping out with the rebuilding of New Orleans — it’s amazing that he still has the time and energy to go out on the road.  Yet it was a modest 90-minute set by his standards — resolutely, obstinately conservative in idiom, basically showing the flag before dashing off to the next gig or project or meeting.

Well, something had to give, for it would have been difficult for Marsalis to keep up the mad musical pace that he once set, culminating in the crazy year 1999 in which he got Sony to release 15 discs of new material. Since signing with Blue Note a few years ago, his output has been meager — just one studio CD, a soundtrack and a live gig held over from 2002.

On the other hand, although there have been no grandiose, boundary-stretching recordings since “All Rise,”  Marsalis did present much new material Monday and hinted that there is more. Indeed, he expressed some frustration that his current label wouldn’t release his projects as fast as he could record them.

One of them, offered as an encore, appears to be another of those occasional fits of social rage that seize Marsalis now and then. It’s a song called “Super-Capitalism,” a fragmented thing with a lyric that complains about out-of-control greed. One never knows for sure when Wynton is kidding, but he said it was from a larger work allegedly titled “From The Plantation To The Penitentiary” (a sequel to his slavery oratorio, “Blood On The Fields”?).

Another new one hectored us from a different direction, “It’s Time For The Return Of Romance,” sincerely spouting every romantic cliche in such profusion that it almost became a parody.  What the piece really needed was a memorable tune — and that never came.

From the recent past came a well-drilled rendition of the suite “The Magic Hour,” with Wynton playing rapid-fire bop with his usual nimble touch — and there was a blues endurance test at an impossibly fast clip, “Sparks,” in which all on board easily passed. Walter Blanding, Jr.’s dusky tenor sax hinted at Hank Mobley; pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Carlos Henriquez, and drummer Ali Jackson deftly formed what Wynton pointedly called “our equal-opportunity rhythm section” (this in reference to earlier controversies about alleged hiring policies at Lincoln Center).

Everything swung, the musicianship was sound, Wynton was an ingratiating, personable host. But nothing really soared.

Wynton Marsalis Quintet

Walt Disney Concert Hall; 2,265 seats; $87 top

Production: Presented by Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. Reviewed Oct. 30, 2006.

Cast: Band: Wynton Marsalis, Walter Blanding Jr., Dan Nimmer, Carlos Henriquez, Ali Jackson, Jennifer Sanon.

More Scene

  • Debra-Messing-Donald-Trump

    Debra Messing Lampoons Donald Trump in Play Based on Mueller Report

    Debra Messing portrayed President Donald Trump in an all-star play based on the Mueller report on Monday at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre. Wearing a light pant suit and sitting with legs spread confidently, Messing nailed Trump’s mannerisms in the one-night-only play, “You Can’t Make This Sh*t Up,” which raised funds for a Barbara Boxer-led PAC [...]

  • Kathryn Hahn Mrs. Fletcher

    Kathryn Hahn Talks Working With an Intimacy Coordinator on 'Mrs. Fletcher'

    HBO’s new comedy “Mrs. Fletcher” follows the journey of an empty-nester divorcee who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and sexual exploration following her son’s departure for college. At the series premiere on Monday night at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, Kathryn Hahn discussed playing the titular role of Eve Fletcher, a middle-aged woman [...]

  • Taika Waititi Natalie Portman SDCC 2019

    Natalie Portman Weighs in on 'Thor: Love and Thunder's' Possible Breast Cancer Storyline

    Natalie Portman doesn’t know if “Thor: Love and Thunder” will include a breast cancer storyline for her character Jane Foster, but she’s definitely intrigued by the possibility. “It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues,” she told Variety at L.A. Dance Project’s 8th annual fundraising gala [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Recalls Husband Blake Edwards' Battle With Depression

    The line to see Julie Andrews at the 92nd Street Y wrapped around the square of a sprawling New York City block. Seventy years since the start of her career, 60 since she asked “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” as Lerner and Loewe’s first Eliza and 50 since she sang “The Sound of Music” before the [...]

  • Bombshell Charlize Theron Megyn Kelly

    'Bombshell': Why Charlize Theron Was Terrified of Playing Megyn Kelly

    Charlize Theron is getting some of the best buzz of her career for channeling Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell,” but the Oscar-winning actress admits she almost turned down the role. “I was shit scared,” Theron said during a question-and-answer session following a Manhattan screening of “Bombshell” on Sunday. Partly, she was worried about portraying someone who [...]

  • Natalie Portman Benjamin Millipied LA Dance

    Natalie Portman, Benjamin Millepied Help Raise Over $1 Million For L.A. Dance Project

    Natalie Portman may be joining Chris Hemsworth in Marvel’s “Thor 4: Love and Thunder,” but as the petite, Dior-clad actress struck a range of poses on the carpet inside downtown Los Angeles gallery space Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel on Saturday night, it was impossible to imagine her wielding an enormous hammer. But then, the Oscar [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content