Compared to his 2002 album, All Rise, which consisted of an extended composition for big band, gospel choir and symphony orchestra—some 200 players, all told—trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis' latest platter is child's play. Which, according to Marsalis, was the point. "I wanted to restate my basic love of jazz music in a quartet format," he says.
Magic Hour is Marsalis' debut for the legendary Blue Note label, and represents a marked departure from his recent ensemble work. By surrounding himself with a cast of youthful musicians for whom he served variously as a musical mentor during their formative years, Marsalis has managed to build a record from the ground up, beginning with bassist Carlos Henriquez' bouncing grooves, accented by Ali Jackson's intuitive drumwork and rounded out melodically by Eric Lewis at the piano and, of course, Marsalis taking the lead on trumpet.
Music to Your Ears
If you've never seen Cape Breton fiddling virtuoso Natalie MacMaster and her phenomenal band, you'll get your chance on Friday, June 18, at the Rio Grande Zoo at 7 p.m. (show up as early as 5:30 p.m. to get a good space on the grass). Those of you who have seen her need no further prodding. See you there. ... The Big Spank are set to usher in the release of their new CD on Friday, June 18, at the Launchpad with performances by special guests Concepto Tambor, Ask the Man, The Disclaimers, AVISO and Suburban Shock Syndrome. This one's all ages, so get there at 8 p.m. ... The ugliest, most misogynistic dancehall reggae legend the world has ever known, Yellowman, will return to Albuquerque with the Sagittarius Band for a show at the Sunshine Theater on Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m. ... ZoukFest presents The Jenny Vincent Trio, Spanish-American dance music from New Mexico on Sunday, June 20, at the Adobe Bar in Taos from 6 to 9 p.m. Contact Roger Landes at (505) 751-3512 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. ... Ray Charles' funeral should have been at least three times bigger than Ronald Reagan's, but hey, that's just my opinion.
Band It Together
The Mountainside YMCA showcases local bands
Friday, June 18; Mountainside YMCA (12500 Comanche NE, 292-2298, all ages, 7 p.m.): I've long held that the “Battle of the Bands” is one of the worst concepts ever spewed forth. It does nothing but pit loca bands against each other and create animosity when what's really needed is unity. Thank the Baby Jesus that the YMCA got it right. “Band It” is a music showcase in which eight local bands will appear on one stage to perform their original music for an audience of their peers and a few older folks like myself.
with Young Edward
Saturday, June 19; Stella Blue (21 and over, 9 p.m.): On the strength of a rushed demo and without ever having played a proper live show, newgrass phenoms Railroad Earth found themselves with invitations to the three most prestigious bluegrass/folk festivals in the United States, followed shortly thereafter by a recording contract with Sugar Hill, a couple of road stints and a rabid underground following.
W.C. Clark CD Release Party
with Memphis P Tales
Who would have thought that listening to the blues can make you feel happy?
This can be said for W.C. Clark's music which is described as soul cleansing blues. Listening to Clark's music is an enlightening experience, that makes you feel baptized and born again after just one listen.
Clark combines the blues with rock 'n' roll, funk, ragtime and big band styles. He is BB King, Ray Charles, Chuck Barry and Muddy Waters all rolled into one, combined with his own unique style of Austin Blues.
Candiria What Doesn't Kill You (Type A Records)
If it wasn't for bands like NYC's Candiria, filling the void left by the demise of Helmet and Quicksand, I'd have taken my own life a long time ago. Tragically, Candiria's last tour took the life of their van, equipment and, very nearly, the lives of all five members when a semi smashed into them at freeway speed. After two years of physical and mental recovery, Candira are back with their fourth—and best—record. Part prog metal, part hardcore and part classic thrash, this one's close to perfect.