Home Masthead Bolden: Music from the Original Soundtrack by Wynton Marsalis

Bolden: Music from the Original Soundtrack by Wynton Marsalis

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The Bolden band around 1905 (top Jimmy Johnson on bass, Buddy Bolden on cornet, Willy Cornish on valve trombone, Willy Warner on clarinet, bottom Brock Mumford on guitar, Frank Lewis on clarinet

This has much to do not only with the fact that Mr Marsalis plays the first instrument of Jazz – the brass horn; in this case the cornet and trumpet – as it does with his voice, which is one of the most authentic and singular voices in Jazz, one that you can recognise from but a few notes, like the voice of Bird, Dizzy, Miles, Monk, ‘Trane and Charles Mingus; or more appropriately – in this instance – the voices of King Oliver and Louis Armstrong. For his part, Mr Marsalis’s musical sensibility leans towards the loud and sinuous. At the same time he is capable of a fluency and delicacy that belies the cornet’s visceral sound. His earthy tone makes him the most ideal voice for the exuberance of this music, its timbres embracing the brash sonorities and near-growl sound effects of the horn. All of this seems ideal for the music that crossed the boundaries between the elite to the popular.

Which, in turn, produces an unique instrumental timbre that immediately evoke the salubrious associations with Buddy Bolden, his equally unique time and place in the history of the music. The sound of Mr Marsalis’ horn penetrates the senses with a seductive blend of warmth and brassiness bringing to life repertoire that is of the time, such as “Muskrat Ramble”, “Tiger Rag”, “Didn’t He Ramble” and especially the song that we have come to believe was Buddy Bolden’s staple, “Funky Butt (I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say)”. Mr Marsalis has also written original music in the manner of that period. His songs, such as “Phantasmagoric Bordello Ballet” and “Buddy’s Horn” are magical replicas of period charts as are his arrangements of “Don’t Go Away Nobody” and (especially) “All the Whores Go Crazy (About the Way I Ride)”.

Of course, none of this would have come to fruition without the musicians who join Mr Marsalis on this journey – musicians such as Wycliffe Gordon, Dr. Michael White, Vincent Gardner, Ted Nash, Don Vappie, and vocalists Catherine Russell, Brianna Thomas and Reno Wilson – the latter three of whom recreate the elegantly raucous atmosphere and the manner in which it’s almost easy to perceive hos Buddy Bolden and his band might have set the venues he played in alight with Jazz. Together with Victor Goines, Walter Blanding, Carlos Henriquez, Dan Nimmer and Ali Jackson and especially Marcus Printup, these musicians reveal that they are completely attuned to the vision and artistry not only of Mr Marsalis, but – perhaps as importantly – to Buddy Bolden’s artistry as well.

Track list – 1: Come on Children; 2: Make Me a Pallet on the Floor; 3: Gone My Way; 4: Creole Belles; 5: Bolden Jump; 6: Timelessness (Short Version); 7: You Rascal You; 8: Russian Lullaby; 9: Stardust; 10: Timelessness; 11: Phantasmagoric Bordello Ballet; 12: Shake It High, Shake It Low; 13: Red Hot Mammas; 14: Whoa You Heifer; 15: Don’t Go Away Nobody; 16: All the Whores Go Crazy (About the Way I Ride); 17: Basin Street Blues; 18: Dinah; 19: Muskrat Ramble; 20: Black and Blue; 21: Tiger Rag; 22: Making Runs; 23: Whip It; 24: Funky Butt (I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say); 25: Didn’t He Ramble; 26: Buddy’s Horn

Personnel – Wynton Marsalis: cornet (1 – 6, 12 – 16, 22, 23, 25, 26), trumpet (7 – 11, 17 – 21, 24); Marcus Printup: trumpet (7 – 11, 17 – 21, 24); Vincent Gardner: valve trombone (1, 4, 5, 14, 22), slide trombone (18); Wycliffe Gordon: valve trombone (3, 6, 12, 15, 16, 23, 25, 26), slide trombone (7 – 11, 17 – 21, 24); Michael White: Bb clarinet (1, 3, 4, 6, 12 – 16, 23, 25, 26); Victor Goines: C clarinet (1, 3 – 6, 12 – 16, 22, 23, 25, 26), clarinet (10, 17), alto saxophone (7 – 10, 17 – 21, 24); Ted Nash: alto saxophone (7 – 10, 17 – 21, 24), clarinet (10, 17); Walter Blanding: tenor saxophone (7 – 11, 17 – 21, 24), clarinet (10), Bb clarinet (22); Dan Nimmer: piano (7 – 11, 17 – 21, 24); Don Vappie: guitar (1, 3 – 10, 12 – 20, 22 – 26), banjo (21); Carlos Henriquez: bass (1, 3 – 26); Ali Jackson: drums (1, 3 – 26); Catherine Russell: vocals (2, 26); Brianna Thomas: vocals (13); Reno Wilson: vocals (7 – 9, 18); Julie Bruskin: cello (2)

Released – 2019
Label – Blue Engine Records
Runtime – 1:10:11

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