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Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra – Bernstein Reimagined PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein Reimagined
Leonard Bernstein (1918 - 1990) was a highly acclaimed and celebrated American composer, conductor, pianist, and educator, whose music thrilled audiences throughout the world. His music has had a profound influence on the world of Jazz, and Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein Reimagined released on the MCG Jazz label, celebrates his musical style, achievement, and genius. The album hits the streets on January 29, 2021.

 

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra – Bernstein Reimagined

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein Reimagined: Times Square Ballet, Dream With Me, Great Lover, Lonely Town, Morning Sun, Waltz, Meditation #1, Chichester Psalms I, Postlude, Symphonic Suite  

Personnel: Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra with soloists: Scott Silbert: clarinet, tenor saxophone, Steve Williams: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, Luis Hernandez: tenor saxophone, Tom Eby: trumpet, Charlie Young: alto saxophone, Bill Mulligan: alto saxophone, Ken Kimery: drums, Tom Williams: trumpet, Tony Nalker: piano, Victor Provist: steel pans, Jennifer Krupa: trombone, Marty Ashby: guitar, Kenny Rittenhouse: trumpet  

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein Reimagined was conducted by Charlie Young, produced by Marty Ashby, and released on the MCG Jazz label. 

Leonard Bernstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on August 25, 1918 and died in New York City on October 14, 1990, and the music he composed has had a fabled influence on the musical world. His orchestral compositions for philharmonics, as well as the music he composed for films and Broadway musicals, are a legacy and tribute to his genius. I cannot imagine the musicals, On the Town (1944) and the 1949 film starring Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, and Vera Allen, Peter Pan (1950), On the Waterfront (1954), West Side Story (1957) and so many more, without his rich compositions.  

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) is the orchestra in-residence at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Interesting to note is that the United States Congress recognized the importance of Jazz in American culture and established the orchestra in 1990 to celebrate this style of American music. This album, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein Reimagined is a fitting tribute to the legendary Leonard Bernstein and shows the lasting influence of American Jazz around the world, as well as showcases the talent of the SJMO.  

The 10-track Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein Reimagined celebrates the music composed by Leonard Bernstein and opens with Times Square Ballet from the 1944 Broadway musical, On the Town, featuring SJMO soloists Scott Silbert on clarinet, Steve Williams on alto saxophone, Luis Hernandez on tenor saxophone, and Tom Ely on trombone. For anyone who has seen the musical or the film, this composition is one that imprints itself in your memory. Although it is performed as an instrumental composition on this release, I can still hear Frank Sinatra and team in the film singing in New York's fabled Times Square. 

Also, from On the Town, are the songs, Great Lover featuring Bill Mulligan on alto saxophone, Scott Silbert on tenor saxophone, and Ken Kimery on drums, and Lonely Town composed by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green, featuring Tom Williams on trumpet.  

The release also includes Dream with Me from the 1950 Broadway musical Peter Pan featuring soloist Charlie Young on alto saxophone, and Symphonic Suite from the 1954 On the Waterfront featuring Ken Kimery on drums, Luis Hernandez on tenor saxophone, and Tom Williams on trumpet. 

In addition to his compositions for musicals, films, and symphonies, Leonard Bernstein also wrote operas. The release includes Postlude composed by Leonard Bernstein and Stephan Wadsworth for A Quiet Place (1983) featuring soloists Tony Nalker on piano and Steven Williams on soprano saxophone, and Morning Sun from his Trouble in Tahiti opera (1951) featuring Tony Nalker on piano.  

Other stunning works are the Waltz from Divertimento for Orchestra which Bernstein composed in 1980 for the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 100th anniversary, Meditation #1, one of three movements from Mass, featuring Jennifer Krupa on trombone, Marty Ashby on guitar, and Kenny Rittenhouse on trumpet, and Chichester Psalms I, featuring soloist Luis Hernandez on tenor saxophone.  

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein Reimagined is a fitting tribute to Leonard Bernstein and his memorable legacy of music, sumptuously performed by the SJMO. Until next time, keep enjoying the music!  

Websites where you can purchase Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra - Bernstein ReimaginedMCG Jazz  

For information on the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra please visit their website: https://americanhistory.si.edu/smithsonian-jazz/smithsonian-jazz-masterworks-orchestra 

For information on MCG Jazz please visit their website: www.mcjazz.org  

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