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Marciac Suite

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 22, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Like Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis writes about many places and spaces. This 13-part opus, the final release of the trumpeter's Swinging into the 21st Century Series, is dedicated to the Jazz in Marciac Festival in France, where Marsalis has performed and taught since 1991. Stylistically, the work bears the style-spanning traits of a Marsalis composition, running from waltzes to carnival tunes. There are the sensual ballads, like "Mademoiselle D'Gascony" and "Guy Lafitte" with its echoes of Billy Strayhorn's "Chelsea Bridge" and tenor saxophonist Victor Goines's evocative solo. Marcus Roberts's stride piano dance illuminates "For My Kids at the College of Marciac," while "Marciac Fun" is powered by the Afro-Caribbean rhythm supplied by drummer Herlin Riley and Roland Guerrero. Naturally, Marsalis's trumpet takes center stage throughout the recording, most notably on the mainstream swinger "Loose Duck" and on the midtempo "Sunflowers," with its intriguing optimistic melody and slightly dissonant railroad-horn riffs. All told, Wynton Marsalis has composed an aural postcard that shows off the swinging sights and sounds of his home away from home. --Eugene Holley Jr.

Review

Wynton Marsalis' compositional aspirations are very grand, as proved by his immense works for jazz orchestra. Nonetheless, Marsalis remains far more effective when he keeps the scale small, as on The Marciac Suite (Columbia), written for septet and performed admirably by a now-familiar cast of his Lincoln Center cohorts (starring trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and reedmen Wes Anderson and Victor Goines).

Marsalis wrote the suite to celebrate his tenth annual appearance at Jazz In Marciac, a summertime festival in southwestern France. The suite's programmatic nature - with pieces dedicated to the festival site, the surrounding wine country, and various individuals - ideally suits his skills as a musical portraitist. Like his model and inspiration, Duke Ellington, Marsalis excels at miniatures and cameos, rather than the epic canvasses he seems to prefer. On The Marciac Suite, he's assembled a nicely varied collection of these smaller, self-contained pieces, and his combo performs them with robust pleasure. You won't hear anything new in Marsalis' writing or playing.

--Neil Tesser, JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: August 22, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00004WK3B
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,299 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
As a Francophile and longtime Wynton Marsalis fan, this cd was aural ambrosia and my favorite of the 'Swinging into the 21st Century Series.' I was fortunate enough to receive it in May as part of a Sony offer. Since then, it's been a mainstay in my cd player. The suite is a complex composition ranging from the upbeat to the romantic to much in between. As a tribute to the town of Marciac and its inhabitants, it seems to be a resounding success. Reading the liner notes and listening to the pieces, I feel as if I know something about this wonderful town in France - a must-see on my next trip there. If you've never listened to Wynton Marsalis, buy this cd. If you're like me and own everything that he's ever recorded, buy this cd. The beauty of Mr. Marsalis's magic will lighten your soul.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album remains (after four years) one of my favorite in my 300+ collection of jazz and classical. I loved it at first hearing and I still do. It takes New Orleans Jazz and Ellington as it's base and creates something entirely new--thirteen beautifully composed and rendered pieces making up a "suite" of impressions of the French town of Marciac. These melodies will remain in your head as persistently as the scent of a dozen roses.

For those new to jazz or to Marsalis, buy this. It's like stepping outside into a warm spring day after a cold, hard winter. The sun, the birds, the sky, the breeze--they're all here and are just as enveloping. For parents: if you are trying to introduce your children to jazz (or to classical music in general) this is the CD to do it with. It's easily accessible and a very happy piece of music.

Serious jazz buffs will appreciate the tight playing of the septet and the coherance of the thirteen pieces. Nicely done.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a jazz CD involving Marsalis and his septet crew which he has had played with for many years. They have good chemistry together and play with a certain freshness that pervades every track. The New Orleans jazz style comes out in Loose Duck where dissonant chords and polyrhythmic sounds keep your attention. There were also tracks like Jean-Louis Is Everywhere which sounded like Claude Debussy, a light-airy harmony with an added jazz rhythm section which turn out to be a nice piece. Also notable is Sunflowers which is a piece that is in 5/4 time and yet sounds pretty natural and it brings forth feelings of spring and optimism. That particular song was a nice song to end the album.
There was no particular theme to the style of music played in this album but has just well composed and executed songs that would appeal to an ear craving for something different from the typical jazz tune. This album celebrates the freedom of creativity and self expression. This is one of Marsalis' best albums to date.
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Format: Audio CD
You couldn't ask for a better introduction to the music from the man I see as the future of traditional jazz.
This recording was designed to be Wynton Marsalis' magnum opus (at least so far), recorded to celebrate a decade of appearances at the jazz festival in Marciac, France. There's not much new here, but that's exactly what you want in a recording of this type, a stroll down memory lane with the kind of complex music from a simple and small-scale ensemble where Marsalis and his wonderful trumpet can best shine.
I love this CD. It's in the rotation of the music I listen to on a day-to-day basis so often that it's become part of the soundtrack to my life. There's nothing recorded here that is not to like. The recording will help solidify Marsalis' place among the giants of the genre and foil the arguments of those who say that great jazz is no longer being recorded.
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Format: Audio CD
This is brilliant, wonderful music. I've never been tremendously impressed with Marsalis. But that changed once I heard a few cuts from this suite and knew I had to hear more. Everything is so tight, so moving. I really enjoyed the entire suite, and was totally knocked out by the final cut, "Sunflowers."
Marsalis may have recorded a lot of good but not great material, but this effort is outstanding.
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By Coto on February 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Maybe becasue I played the trumpet when I was a teen that I have been drawn to the greats like Armstrong,Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, Miles and Wynton Marsalis. Maybe it's the sugar that flows from that $50,000 Monette custom horn that Wynton plays. Whatever it is, this is a beauty of a CD. There is nothing that you cannot like about this. This, like some of his brother Branford's recordings and other great new artists, gives us hope and joy that there is great Jazz again being made. This deserves to be placed alongside Miles, Trane, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Bird and the amazing Clifford Brown. It's great that we can enjoy these talented new artists for their craft along with the latest in recording technology which was not available in decades past.
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Format: Audio CD
Will the real Wynton Marsalis please stand up please stand upthe Marciac Suite is some of the best work that the Wynton Marsalis Septet has done in ages. There are none of the political asides or the heavy handed musicianship that has plagued his last releases. There is a joy and spirit that fills these tracks. The American Gallic flavor makes for a tasty gumbo. Recommended for all lovers of traditional jazz.
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