×
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

  • Lauren Ash44th Annual Gracie Awards, Show,

    Politics and New Abortion Ban Laws Dominate 2019 Gracie Awards

    Female empowerment was in the air Tuesday night as showrunners, writers and performers gathered at the 44th annual Gracie Awards to celebrate women breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings within the entertainment industry. Sandra Oh, Patricia Arquette, Rachel Maddow and Connie Britton were among the honorees at the ceremony, which took place at the Beverly [...]

  • Sacha Baron Cohen

    Why Sacha Baron Cohen Credits Donald Trump for ‘Who Is America?’

    Over the course of history, comedians have shared their take on current events with biting commentary on everything from class and gender to fashion and politics, and the current presidential administration is definitely no exception — with President Donald Trump regularly lampooned on shows like “Saturday Night Live” and by late-night TV hosts. But when [...]

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content