Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis: Live In Cuba (Blue Engine)
The JALCO’s 2010 visit to Cuba coincided with the beginnings of warmer official relations between cold war enemies. Their two-CD set recorded at a Havana Theater includes a guest appearance by the prominent Cuban musician Bobby Carcassés in a passionate vocal on Benny More’s classic bolero “Cómo Fué.” It also has a performance of Lincoln Center bassist Carlos Henriquez’s supercharged mambo “2/3’s Adventure.” However, the concert in this two-CD set is not primarily a tribute to Cuban music. The band is impressive in a repertoire of pieces by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Carter, as well as by Marsalis and several other members of the orchestra. Marsalis, Ryan Kisor, Walter Blanding, Dan Nimmer, Chris Crenshaw,Ted Nash, Marcus Printup—indeed, all of the soloists—sound as if they’re having the time of their lives. The ensemble playing is superb.