Took my lady to see The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at our beloved local theater, The Flynn, the other night. We sat front row in the balcony and watched Wynton and the cats do their thing, and as always, the experience was pure bliss. I was a little tired that night, and in truth, gave my sweatpants an extra look before pulling on my boots and coat to brave the sub-zero January. As usual, though, there is no substitute for live music, jazz in particular. Jazz is one of the few constants in my life, a continued source of pleasure and inspiration that mostly feeds a private place in my soul, a little garden that always prospers and always has plenty of sunshine and rain. It’s been that way for many many years and Wynton has long been a hero of mine, both for his musical genius and for his advocacy for the arts and arts education. And for how damn cool he is. I’ve seen Wynton seven or eight times over the years, though haven’t seen the orchestra since college, and their precision was astounding. When you hear a group of men playing so together, it’s easy to take for granted what they’re achieving because the music, and the individual contributions necessary to make it, are so seamless, so empathetic. This is the essence of big band jazz. And when it’s working best, you barely notice it.
Here’s a few clips of Wynton for your Monday morning. This one is a nice interview with Wynton and Paul Simon that’s about Simon’s contribution to American music, but it’s cool to see them together. The second, below, is Wynton’s quartet with Frank O’Connor and Frank Vignola sitting in on Sweet Georgia Brown.
And a third of the orchestra doing Chick Corea’s “Wigwam.” Enjoy. Have a banner week.