WOW!!!!! I just saw Wynton Marsalis' "Swing Symphony" with the Brussels Philharmonic and Brussels Jazz Orchestra. It is the most incredible example I have ever seen of integrating jazz and classical music and musicians together on a concert stage. Brilliantly written and featuring every section of the orchestra. Wayne Marshall conducting. You also need the right kind of conductor for this work (which he was). Someone that understands groove and when to literally get out of the way of the musicians. Not just the jazz musicians, the classical ones as well. There is a beautiful segment where he just let the string basses play by themselves where it was true chamber music....not controlled by him but exactly the way that section just wanted to play it by themselves. In fact, this was a theme throughout the orchestra. I have never seen so many smiling musicians just having a ball with this work....it is how it should always be but rarely is.
Audience loved it too. Wynton has brilliantly threaded together all musicians on stage as well....everyone was acoustic except for the bass who had just one small, unobtrusive amp.
As though we didn't know it already, Wynton has attained iconic status. I will actually now go one further, I will not allow younger players to criticize him anymore in that way that all musicians are capable of when dealing out those 'backhanded' compliments. Of course it's a free country and one is entitled to an opinion, but trumpet players in particular should just be lucky that we have Wynton at all...he has risen to a place that only the rarified few ever get to and that entitles him to universal respect....period!
Jens Lindemann's Web Quarters