Wynton Marsalis Big Train
- Released: July 13, 1999
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Sony
Q - 11/99, p.1273 stars out of 5 - "...seamlessly joined to create an epic suite....Effective and, at times, dazzling."
Down Beat - 8/00, p.27Ranked #8 Jazz Album in Downbeat "Critics Poll 2000".
- $1.29 on iTunes1.All Aboard
- $1.29 on iTunes2.Observation Car
- $1.29 on iTunes3.Union Pacific Big Boy
- $1.29 on iTunes4.Smokestack Shuffle
- $1.29 on iTunes5.Northbound - Southbound
- $1.29 on iTunes6.Dining Car
- $1.29 on iTunes7.Night Train
- $1.29 on iTunes8.Engine
- $1.29 on iTunes9.Bullet Train
- $1.29 on iTunes10.Sleeper Car
- $1.29 on iTunes11.Station Call
- $1.29 on iTunes12.The Caboose
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Wynton Marsalis & The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Wessell Anderson (sopranino & alto saxophones, clarinet); Victor Goines (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet); Walter Blanding (soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, clarinet); Ted Nash (soprano & alto saxophones, flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet); Joe Temperley (soprano & baritone saxophones, bass clarinet); Seneca Black, Ryan Kisor, Marcus Printup, Riley Mullins (trumpet); Wycliffe Gordon (trombone, tuba); Wayne Goodman, Ronald Westray (trombone); Farid Barron (piano); Doug Wamble (guitar, banjo); Rodney Whitaker (bass); Herlin Riley (drums); Roland Guerrero (percussion).
Recorded at Masonic Grand Lodge, New York, New York on December 20, 1998. Includes liner notes by Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Crouch.
BIG TRAIN is part of Wynton Marsalis' Swingin' Into The 21st Century series.
Personnel: Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Doug Wamble (guitar, banjo); Ted Nash (flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Victor Goines (clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Wessell Anderson (clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Joe Temperley (bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, bass saxophone); Riley Mullins, Marcus Printup, Ryan Kisor, Seneca Black (trumpet); Wycliffe Gordon (trombone, tuba); Ron Westray, Wayne Goodman (trombone); Farid Barron (piano); Herlin Riley (drums).
Liner Note Author: Stanley Crouch.
Recording information: Masonic Grand Lodge, NY (12/20/1998).
Photographers: Lee Crum; Arnold Turner.
On 1999's Big Train, Marsalis tries on the mantle of Duke Ellington in the latter's centennial year and finds that it suits him. A 52-minute big band suite modeled after Ellington's long-form essays, it purports to evoke the moods, sounds and feelings of a cross-country train trip with selections named after a train's various cars. Like an Ellington suite, the sections run together; after the striking "All Aboard," you're in Ellington country, right down to the plunger mute wah-wah riffs. "Union Pacific" paraphrases "Rockin' in Rhythm"; the ballad "Sleeper Car" evokes Johnny Hodges and Tricky Sam Nanton quite explicitly. Inevitably, there's a track called "Night Train"; thankfully, its bossa nova flavor has nothing to do with Duke's piece. Marsalis has mastered the Ellington idiom, writing and organizing the piece skillfully and getting the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to play with precision and emotion. Yet the one thing that Ellington (and Billy Strayhorn) could do and Marsalis has yet to demonstrate is the ability to come up with a big, memorable tune; there's craft, emotion, and swing, but little else to take home with you. If you didn't know that this work was about trains, you might not guess it; you can't really feel the rocking, chugging, streamlined motion of the rails in this work. There is fine soloing all around in the hard bop tradition from Wessell Anderson, Victor Goines, Wycliffe Gordon, Ted Nash and Walter Blanding, Jr., though the liner fails to note which of the multiple tenor, alto, trombone players are soloing on which tracks. But overall, this is one of Marsalis' better extended form essays. ~ Richard S. Ginell