Wynton Marsalis: All Rise

Wynton Marsalis: All Rise

by Wynton Marsalis
     
 
Though the CD is being sold under the name of Wynton Marsalis, All Rise is a collaborative recording effort. The trumpeter/composer, who is best known for his jazz work but is also comfortable in the classical arena, wrote the extended piece and performs it with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen),

Overview

Though the CD is being sold under the name of Wynton Marsalis, All Rise is a collaborative recording effort. The trumpeter/composer, who is best known for his jazz work but is also comfortable in the classical arena, wrote the extended piece and performs it with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen), and three choirs. Spanning 12 movements and more than 100 minutes, All Rise is structured, according to Marsalis’ liner notes, like a 12-bar blues, in three sections of four movements. But if you didn’t have that information, the idea of the blues wouldn’t arise until the 11th movement: “Saturday Night Slow Drag” is a sexy, slithery, Uptown New Orleans dance performed by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with prissy strings sitting on the sidelines, commenting on the shocking dancers. The sixth movement, “Cried, Shouted, Then Sung,” also has a touch of the blues feeling because it begins as a New Orleans funeral dirge. The jazz element in All Rise is so tightly woven into the classical format that it, too, takes a back seat to Marsalis' musical description of what he calls “different moments in the progression of experiences that punctuate our lives.” However “Expressbrown Local” swings close to “Take the A Train,” and the final section, “I Am,” is as uplifting as something from Ellington’s Sacred Concerts. Classical references proliferate: “Wild Strumming of Fiddle” recalls Aaron Copland’s Americana compositions, and the Latin dance elements of “El ‘Gran’ Baile de la Reina” at moments suggests Ravel. There is even the feel of Japanese taiko drums in the all-percussion opening of “Save Us.” Being all over the place was part of Marsalis’ plan for the composition. He wrote it to portray the human aspect of globalization, the common denominator of humanity, through a vivid and complex orchestral piece.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
Originally conceived for Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic in 1999 as a new millennium piece, this outlandishly scaled, exuberantly eclectic, 106-minute monster work for chorus, symphony orchestra, and jazz big band soon became known as a symbol of something completely different. Just two days prior to a scheduled performance by Marsalis, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in 2001, the terrorists of September 11 struck -- and the performance (and subsequent recording with these forces) became a memorial, almost a catharsis, to a terrifying event. Yet "All Rise" would have been a special work in Marsalis' output even without the historical context. Though not quite as lengthy as "Blood on the Fields," "All Rise" nevertheless is the most ambitious thing that Marsalis had written up to this time, a piece that brazenly tries to embrace the whole world (to cite Gustav Mahler's definition of a symphony) and succeeds better than one thought it might. It is also the most fascinating and enjoyable of Marsalis' concert pieces, where the listener shares the composer's delight in opening himself up to new sonic experiences that his highly debatable pronouncements on jazz have long ignored. Cast in 12 movements, the piece is supposed to have been built upon the example of the humble 12-bar blues, but actually, as in other Marsalis concert pieces like "Fields" and "Big Train," the primary driving force is Duke Ellington -- and, to some extent, Charles Mingus. Yet Wynton also throws his classical experiences into the mix, including neo-classical Stravinsky and neo-Baroque brass. He even attempts a string fugue in "Movement 4"; it's stillborn, running in place, but you end up admiring his moxie and his deflating wit in the movement's subtext ("We discover we can do wonderful things, get the big head, and get lost in a labyrinth of our own magnificence"). He mines Cuban and Argentinean rhythms, he includes gospel strains, and he doesn't forget to include stretches of the straightforward neo-bop style that brought him to the world's attention in the first place. He is also very generous with the solos, handing them out to his colleagues in the LCJO while taking one extended coruscating turn himself in "Movement 5." Ultimately, the resonances between this work and September 11 are uncanny. In "Movement 5," following a sequence of war-like drumming, the chorus screams and sings the words, "Save us, O Lord" -- which hit painfully close to home to the Bowl audience. And in the end, the sudden coda -- played in Marsalis' most joyous Dixieland manner -- was a release, like the close of a wake. Even if you have resisted Marsalis' more pretentious concert music in the past, this two-CD set may well make you a believer.
Entertainment Weekly
This piece for orchestra, jazz ensemble, and chorus is mammoth in scope, bold in ambition, and long in duration.
Gramophone - Jeremy Nicholas
All Rise is classy entertainment, by turns exhilarating, challenging, irritating and stimulating.... [An] engrossing and courageous work which reconciles diffuse musical cultures and languages without descending to populist musical gestures.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/01/2002
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998981720
catalogNumber:
89817

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wynton Marsalis   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Soloist
Joe Temperley   Baritone Saxophone,Soloist
Ryan Kisor   Trumpet,Soloist
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra   Performing Ensemble,Track Performer,Soloist
Esa-Pekka Salonen   Conductor,Track Performer
Wessell Anderson   Alto Saxophone,Soloist
Wes Anderson   Alto Saxophone
Victor Goines   Clarinet,Soloist
Jason Marsalis   Drums,Soloist
Ron Westray   Trombone,Soloist
Rodney Whitaker   Bass,Soloist
Marcus Printup   Trumpet,Soloist
Walter Blanding   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Vincent Gardner   Trombone,Soloist
Miranda Richardson   Vocals,Soloist
Kenneth Alston   Vocals,Tenor (Vocal),Soloist
Cynthia Hardy   Vocals,Soloist
Seneca Black   Trumpet,Soloist
Morgan State University Choir   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Issachah Savage   Vocals,Soloist
Ted Nash   Alto Saxophone
Norman Pearson   Tuba,Soloist
Nathan Carter   Choir Director
Paul Smith   Choir Director

Technical Credits

Stanley Crouch   Liner Notes
Wynton Marsalis   Liner Notes
Todd Whitelock   Engineer
Giulio Turturro   Art Direction
Paul Smith   Director
Steven Epstein   Producer

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