"This album is just good jazz. The first eight tracks are good enough; the last five will blow you away.The first movement is a good introduction to the whole thing. The second sports some good soloing and wonderful rhythm section interplay during the vibes solo. The third movement is absolutely amazing in its expressive dynamic range. The extended drum solos in the fourth movement of the suite are a bit long for my tastes, but that's just me. The fifth and final movement has an interesting, obvious, and pretty funny mistake by a member of the trumpet section that, quite surprisingly, doesn't ruin the tune at all. It rather adds to the piece. The whole thing ends in a climactic cacophony and much deserved applause.I highly recommend purchasing this album."
A tough call for the LCJO
firstname.lastname@example.org | Hanover, NH | 01/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Marsalis' LCJO is turning a whole new generation of musicians onto the REAL heart of Duke Ellington's music. It takes a excellent band to perform Duke's works the right way, and the LCJO is displaying the fullness of Ellingon's important contribution to American music as we know it today. This album display the awesome musicianship of some of the finest jazz players around. However, I thought this album lacked a little of the spirit and polish that are so prominent on the LCJOs other album "Live in Swing City". However, the offering of Ellington's "serious", concert type music here is definately worth a listen."
P H E N O M E N A L !!!!!!!!!
Eduardo Acosta | 08/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the CD that introduced me to LCJO and I have been an addict ever since. Marsalis and the LCJO get a chance to take on the master and they do the DUKE justice. Their mix of "old jazz masters" and up and coming artists like Wycliff Gordon lend themselves to a truly rich sound that only truly Big Bands have. The spirit of Ellington lives and it has taken residence at 66th and Broadway. I have been to a few concerts at Lincoln Center and they are incredible live, GET THIS DISC AND YOU'LL FEEL SOME OF THE ELECTRICITY GENERATED BY MUSICIANS WHO ARE MASTERS AT THEIR CRAFT. the Liberian Suite (last 5 tracks) is some of the best music ever written and you can only get it here. GET THIS NOW!!!"
Soulful and interesting.
Tom W.C Oppenheim | Victoria, Australia. | 02/23/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the earliest recordings of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, made in 1991 or 1992. For that reason some of the familiar faces of the orchestra are not present, such as Wess 'Warmdaddy'Anderson, Ted Nash, Ryan Kisor and Eric Reed. However, the quality of the music is still sublime. Replacing the very competent tenor saxophonist Walter Blanding is the equally good, if not better, Todd Williams. Williams plays several breathtaking solos on this album, but my favourite is his heart wrenching rendition of 'Self Portrait of the Bean', dedicated to the great tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. I also like the exciting, 'Total Jazz' which features some tasteful soloing from trombonist Wycliffe Gordon (who can be heard on practically every Wynton Marsalis recording to date)and Williams. Marsalis himself presents his own personal showcase on 'Portrait of Louis Armstrong'. While his ideas and technique are as usual perfect, I am not fond of the sound he generates. He is clearly trying to imitate Louis Armstrong by playing with a harsh, sharp tone and strong attack, however, I think he over does it. Overall this album is not the best of LCJO recordings, but it still pretty and entertaining to listen to. For the best introduction to their music, and the music of Ellington, may I direct you to 'The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Live in Swing City', which features the music of Ellington in a live setting with all the familiar LCJO members."