To consider him a giant one must look at the contributions he's made to the field. He is truly a trumpet giant, but a jazz giant....that really depends on how you measure it.
Would you consdier his influence on music to be greater than Miles'? How about Maynard? Or even Doc or Maurice Andre? Tough to say.
I still think he's just about the most talented and skilled trumpet player I've ever heard, but as has already been said, what are the actual criterium?
Oh yeah, my opinion? I would say yes on all acounts. He simply works harder than just about anybody else in the biz. But like I said...it's all in how you look at it.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who do not.
If Wynton had never said a word in the media, never given a speech, there would be Wynton statues lining the streets. There would be a Wynton-appreciation forum on this site. Granted, is Wynton the first thing I listen to in the morning and the last at night? No, but there is very intelligent, very exciting music to be found. He's pumped out so many albums that some are bound to not get everyone's blood rushing, but hey, that's life.
Check out the live at the vanguard seven-cd set. Try to imagine the music as if you had never heard stanley crouch promote it; as if Wynton had never spoken out against hip-hop or fusion; and then tell me that it's "not honest" or "it doesn't swing."
I am not passing judgment on what he says one way or another. Wynton has four careers: one is as a public intellectual, a dying and much-needed art. Marsalis is an intelligent, learn-ed provocateur in a sense, trying to goad culture where he wants to goad it. The second is as an educator and supporter/discoverer/nurturer/impresario of new talent. The third is as a trumpet player, the fourth as a composer.
Of course they overlap, but we forget that the person playing in the house of tribes (have you HEARD that album?) or blues alley is not the person addressing the National Endowment for the Humanities or whatever. I'm not taking a side one side or another on what he says, but I think it is expressed intelligently. It's garden variety jealousy, alot of the criticism around him, and alot of the more knee-jerk criticism of his classical playing shows a really unimaginative sense of what music can be ("this is inapprorpriate to the music because monettes didn't exist in Tomasi's time") or show frankly troubling racial overtones.
A giant of the trumpet? Unquestionably. Jazz giant? I don't know, while he can obviously play, his music sort of leaves me cold. I WANT to like him more than I do but there seems a strange emotional reserve in his improvising that keeps me from really enjoying it, as if everything is at one level removed from the immediate. I don't know if this makes any sense. I kind of feel the quotation marks around stuff a lot of the time when I hear him. He's wonderful with kids and the public, the perfect ambassador to the world at large for jazz, but he's not my favorite jazz player by a long shot. I've had a couple conversations with him, and he's funny, warm, knowledgeable and articulate. I think he's an unsurpassed classical player, and if you remember that recording he did of cornet solos with the Eastman Wind Ensemble-yikes! As far as imagination and creativity, he's like an engineer to me, someone perfect to run the LCJO and be the CEO of Jazz, Inc. over there. Someone to hire if you ever needed a trumpet player for just about any kind of gig. But not someone who would ever be able to think of Kind of Blue or something. And I don't really feel the need to hear a recording of the LCJO do Ellington, I have Duke's recordings which suffice for me. Though I certainly wouldn't mind hearing the band live, like I don't mind hearing the Mingus band, though I don't think I own any of their records.He certainly is a key figure in the neo-classical-ification of jazz.
"It is so characteristic, that just when the mechanics of reproduction are so vastly improved, there are fewer and fewer people who know how the music should be played.
Clifford came along and showed us how incredible good technique and solid time can sound. Lee showed us that the blues is everywhere and that the trumpet can speak like a human. Freddie (and woody shaw) showed us that not just sax players can get all around the horn with blinding speed and emotion. They took the formerly linear approach to trumpet improv and showed the world that you could play totally harmonically as well. All of these guys also introduced the world to hard bop. That was a new style of music fusing bebop and blues together. I would say they all ushered in a new era, although it might not have been as significant as modal jazz or coltrane, it was still important in the overall scheme of things.
I want to stay out of this Wynton thing, but I just have to say how strongly I disagree with the statement on the first page that wynton is the most important trumpet player of the century. That is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard.
Last edited by Brekelefuw; 10-26-2006 at 10:48 PM.
Why bother with limiting Wyntons' influence to jazz? What made Satchmo a giant? Why do we even bother discussing this? Is it important to you if I feel Wynton is a giant or not?
He is by any stretch of the imagination a great trumpet player and person.
He is active in getting kids interested in music. There is no higher goal as far as I am concerned! What did Miles do to get kids interested in music? How many ordinary people have never heard (of) Miles.
The most important question to me: what can I learn from Wynton? Is his playing a role model even if he hasn't reinvented cool-bop or jive-rock?
If anybody out there wants to feel important by criticizing Wynton, maybe we should ask about their motives and what we can learn from them! Most of the time they will only serve to be bad examples.
Oh, and by the way, his trumpet is made by that DM guy. That for sure will help his qualification amongst the bargain basement critics!
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
What's the controversy?
Wynton's a fanominal player no matter what he plays.
I think you can't say weather or not he's impacted one thing or another just yet.
Thinking along those lines maybe he's impacted it more then we'll ever know. How may kids picked up a trumpet or continue playing one because Wynton is their hero and he inspires them?
He may have far more impact on many things then we ever thought he would have.
2008 Eclipse MHY Bb Trumpet in Silver Plate with interchangable leadpipes
Getzen Capri Bb Cornet
Bach, GR & Monette mouthpieces
Wynton is the Snickers of trumpet. Any time I need a tasty lick I can just throw him in the boom box. He brings satisfaction to the world.
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