This Fall, Marcus Roberts Releases Ambitious 12-Movement Original
Suite With His Trio And Reunites With Wynton Marsalis On 2
Photo Credit: John Douglas
“Genius” pianist Marcus Roberts, who got his
first major break 28 years ago as the pianist in Wynton Marsalis’ band
and has been an innovator and major figure in the jazz world ever since,
is in the midst of a tremendously productive period in his career that
will see the release of three new albums this fall. One is ‘From Rags To
Rhythm, ‘ an ambitious, original twelve-movement thematic suite that is
the most comprehensive work to date reflecting his unique trio
philosophy, while the other two other albums feature the reunion of old
friends Roberts and Wynton Marsalis, who has called Roberts “the genius
of the modern piano.” The ‘Together Again’ albums, one studio and one
live, mark the first time they have released significant works together
in two decades.
In the last two years, Roberts has been
particularly busy composing, arranging, teaching, and performing. He
debuted his first concerto for piano and orchestra, ‘Spirit of the
Blues: Piano Concerto in C Minor, ‘ with Robert Spano and the Atlanta
Symphony Orchestra. Roberts also re-recorded, re-imagined and
re-released his 1990 opus (‘Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite (2012), ‘
released a distinctive album of holiday songs called ‘Celebrating
Christmas (2011), ‘ and toured with Bela Fleck for their album together
‘Across the Imaginary Divide (2012), ‘ with Bela Fleck and the Marcus
Roberts Trio. Most recently, Roberts has expanded his trio conception
even farther with the founding of a new large ensemble, “The Modern Jazz
*’From Rags To Rhythm’ – Marcus Roberts Trio
dynamic twelve-movement suite of contrasting moods, tempos and musical
forms that pushes the boundaries of the piano trio. Highly
improvisational, Roberts and his trio trade on a series of five primary
melodic themes throughout the suite. Marcus Roberts, piano; Rodney
Jordan, bass; Jason Marsalis, drums.
1. On a Special Occasion
2. There’s a Dance Tonight
3. The Spanish Tinge
4. Playing Around
5. A New Orleans Parade
6. From Rags to Rhythm
7. On the Edge of the Unknown
8. The Reservoir
9. Gotta Play Your Own Song
10. The Duo
11. Under the Cover of Darkness
12. Searching for the Blues
*’Together Again in the Studio’ – Marcus Roberts Trio w/ Wynton Marsalis
7-track album including 5 original Roberts compositions. Marcus
Roberts, piano; Roland Guerin, bass; Jason Marsalis, drums; Wynton
1. Cole After Midnight
2. The Duo
3. Mack the Knife
4. As Serenity Approaches
5. Play the Blues and Swing
6. I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues
7. The Feeling of Something New
*’Together Again Live in Concert’ – Marcus Roberts Trio w/ Wynton Marsalis
7-track live album of standards including “Giant Steps, ” Black and Tan
Fantasy, ” Jelly Roll Morton’s “New Orleans Blues.” Marcus Roberts,
piano; Roland Guerin, bass; Jason Marsalis, drums; Wynton Marsalis,
1. Blue Skies
2. Giant Steps
3. Embraceable You
4. New Orleans Blues
5. East of the Sun (West of the Moon)
6. Black and Tan Fantasy
7. When the Saints Go Marching In
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