[Dixielandjazz] Lincoln Center jazz band in Cuba
Stephen G Barbone
barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 7 06:37:07 PDT 2010
Jazz, people love it when they hear it. But what is this 13/8 stuff?
OCTOBER 6, 2010, NY TIMES - BY VICTORIA BURNETT
Cuba Journal: A Taste of Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and More
Over the next few days, Victoria Burnett will be reporting for
ArtsBeat on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s visit to Cuba.
HAVANA — The audience that streamed into Havana’s Mella Theater on
Tuesday night, for the first of four concerts by the Jazz at Lincoln
Center Orchestra, came to see what these musicians from El Yuma –
Cuban parlance for America – had to offer.
And they loved what they heard. The band strode onto the stage to a
standing ovation and for 90 minutes galloped through a program that
ranged from tributes to Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie to a piece
in 13/8 time by the saxophonist Ted Nash, inspired by Salvador Dalí.
“It was like, a whole history of jazz. Phenomenal,” said Doris
Fernandez, a 26-year old percussionist who was in the audience. “It’s
a kind of jazz we just don’t hear in Cuba – classic, but original.
It’s a chance to learn.”
The audience chuckled at saxophonist Sherman Irby’s arrangement of
“Baa Baa Blacksheep,” with its opening bars of bleating brass and
gasped at the trombone section’s lightning precision in Duke
Ellington’s “Braggin’ in Brass” – a piece that Wynton Marsalis told
the audience the band likes to play “just because it’s so difficult.”
Another Ellington piece, the lyrical “Sunset and the Mockingbird,”
provided a reflective moment: it was written in 1959, the year that
Fidel Castro came to power and the United States began to turn its
back on Cuba, stemming the rich flow of Afro-Cuban music that had so
long nourished American jazz.
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