Perhaps the world's foremost jazz ambassador, Wynton Marsalis is not only one of the most technically gifted trumpeters in the modern era, he is a truly excellent communicator. His projects, as well as the speeches he gives as the director of the famous Jazz at Lincoln Center institute, always toe the line between sophistication and accessibility, opening up the rich jazz world for anyone who takes an interest.
This concert in 1992 is a case in point. The New Orleanian native was only 31 years old and had already won eight Grammys (including the prizes for both jazz and classical solo performance in the same year, a feat no musician has equalled). A young king surrounded by a stellar cast, he performed In This House, On This Morning, an album that he would release in the following years whose structure tells the story of an African-American sermon: from "Call To Prayer" to "Processional" to "Pot Blessed Dinner," the delicious home-cooked meal that follows Sunday service.
The music is subtle and shifting, echoing the feelings of hope, failure, redemption and community that characterise this vision of an extremely important component in the story of American music: the Black church. It matches beguiling musical complexity with images and notions that are clear and inviting, tinged with big band swing and the blues and ragtime of his hometown. A really spectacular performance whose meanings stretch far beyond the Munich Philharmonic concert hall.
Newport in Paris Jazz Festival
Séquence Archives 2017