Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: The Fire of the Fundamentals

by: Various Artists

This CD, which actually features the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on only two selections, has highlights from a variety of concerts held at Lincoln Center during 1991-1993. A fine octet with clarinetist Michael White, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and pianist Marcus Roberts do an effective re-interpretation of Jelly Roll Morton's "Jungle Blues," pianist Kenny Barron strides enthusiastically on a solo version of Thelonious Monk's "Trinkle Tinkle" and Jimmy Heath's soprano playing is showcased on "Ellington's Stray-Horn." Pianist/vocalist Jay McShann re-creates "Hootie Blues," pianist Marcus Roberts romps through Monk's "Bolivar Blues" and then "Dahomey Dance" offers particularly strong solos from a septet with Marsalis and tenorman Todd Williams. Betty Carter sings a spacy version of "You're Mine You," Marcus Roberts returns for a solo rendition of Morton's "The Crave," the Wynton Marsalis Sextet interprets Miles Davis' moody "Flamenco Sketches" and vocalist Milt Grayson finishes the CD anti-climactically with the ballad "Multi Colored Blue." It's an interesting if not essential set with plenty of variety and many worthwhile performances. ~ Scott Yanow

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