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Cedar Walton and the Timeless All-Stars, Lizz Wright
at the Kennedy Center

Cedar Walton

For New Year's Eve 2003, Kennedy Center Jazz presented pianist Cedar Walton and the Timeless All-Stars -- six of the hard boppin'est players in music. Pianist Cedar Walton came from Texas to New York in the late 1950s and joined the most popular, influential, long-lasting hard bop group in history: Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers.

All-Star trombonist Curtis Fuller was also a Messenger, as well as a sideman on the 1959 John Coltrane LP Blue Train. All-Star drummer Jimmy Cobb was Miles Davis's choice for Kind of Blue, the greatest selling jazz album ever.

Mike Joyce, critic for The Washington Post, describes the horns: "trombonist Curtis Fuller's jaunty swagger, alto saxophonist Bobby Watson's gleaming tone, and tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander's full-bore resonance," as well as the band's "unfussy propulsion, nimble exchanges and colorful solos." These stars shine on JazzSet.

Then, a lovely new singer with a gorgeous voice steps onstage and changes the mood effectively. As much as the All-Stars are outgoing and demonstrative, Lizz Wright is reflective and spiritual. She holds the listeners rapt through her a cappella encore. With a shy "Happy New Year," the concert is over.

Cedar Walton & the Timeless All-Stars
"Naima" (Coltrane)
"Cedar's Blues" (Walton)
"Firm Roots" (Walton)

Lizz Wright (w/Jeffrey Haynes, percussion, Carlos Henderson, bass and keyboardist Nicholas Roth)
"Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly" (Corea/Potter)
"Soon As I Get Home" (Smalls)
"Walk With Me Lord" (Trad.)
"Afro Blue" (Santamaria)
"Silence" (Wright)


  • About Cedar Walton
  • About Curtis Fuller
  • Lizz Wright on the Web

  • Kennedy Center Jazz
  • Timeless Records

    Our field producer is Suraya Mohamed .. with technical director Kevin Wait of NPR. Our music mixer is NPR's Mitch Eaton .. and engineers Greg Hartman and Chris Weal of Big Mo Recording.

    Thanks to Andy Trudeau and Benjamin K. Roe of NPR, and Derek Gordon and Kevin Struthers of the Kennedy Center.

    JazzSet's team is Becca Pulliam, technical director Duke Markos, recording engineer Ginger Bruner at KUNV Jazz 91 in Las Vegas, with Mark Schramm and Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, New Jersey.

    Copyright 2007 NPR