Wynton Marsalis And Vince Giordano, Big Phat Band On JazzSet We wave the jazz flag with music transcribed from Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens — quintet and septet recordings from the 1920s — and a new Grammy-winning arrangement of "Rhapsody in Blue."

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Wynton Marsalis And Vince Giordano, Big Phat Band On JazzSetWBGO

Wynton Marsalis And Vince Giordano, Big Phat Band On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/196272970/195829946" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

One band is on the East Coast, one on the West and both give definitive, invigorating performances of music that celebrates what's best about America — jazz, bands, even Bugs Bunny.

Emcee and JazzSet guest host Rhonda Hamilton is onstage at Jazz at Lincoln Center to introduce a unique pairing. First, there's trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and men from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In addition, Vince Giordano has his tuba, guitar and bass saxophone (a magnificent instrument) and players from his Nighthawks, who've been performing New Orleans music since 1976.

Marsalis says of his trumpet hero, Louis Armstrong, "'Pops' taught us all, and we are basking in the glory of his music." Giordano has transcribed many Armstrong recordings so that today's musicians can play it as the Hot Fives and Sevens did. Two of the four pieces we'll hear were written by Armstrong's wife and pianist, Lil Hardin Armstrong. And the last is "St. James Infirmary" in the tempo of a dirge, with lyrics.

Gordon Goodwin from Los Angeles won the Best Instrumental Arrangement Grammy in 2012 for "Rhapsody in Blue" from Goodwin's Big Phat Band. He was nominated again this year for his arrangement of "Salt Peanuts" by Dizzy Gillespie. As Goodwin says, arranging is great, but the notes are just scribbles on the page until someone plays them. The Big Phat Band makes its Monterey Jazz Festival debut with "Rhapsody" and "Hunting Wabbits," inspired by Carl Stalling's 1940s scores for Warner Brothers cartoons — think Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny. The music tumbles all over itself; it's just about perfect.

Louis Armstrong Continuum Personnel

  • Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
  • Vince Giordano, tuba/bass saxophone/guitar
  • Andy Stein, violin/saxophone
  • Victor Goines, reeds
  • Jon-Erik Kellso, trumpet
  • Chris Crenshaw, trombone/vocals
  • Ken Salvo, banjo/guitar
  • Dan Nimmer, piano
  • Carlos Henriquez, bass
  • Ali Jackson, drums

Louis Armstrong Continuum Set List

  • "Hotter Than That" (Armstrong)
  • "Skid-Dat-De-Dat" (Hardin)
  • "Jazz Lips" (Hardin)
  • "St. James Infirmary" (traditional)

Big Phat Band Personnel

  • Gordon Goodwin, keyboards/tenor saxophone
  • Eric Marienthal, reeds
  • Sal Lozano, reeds
  • Brian Scanlon, reeds
  • Jeff Driskill, reeds
  • Jay Mason, reeds
  • Wayne Bergeron, trumpet
  • Dan Fornero, trumpet
  • Willie Murillo, trumpet
  • Dan Savant, trumpet
  • Andy Martin, trombone
  • Francisco Torres, trombone
  • Charlie Morillas, trombone
  • Craig Gosnell, bass trombone
  • Andrew Synoweic, guitar
  • Rick Shaw, bass
  • Bernie Dresel, drums
  • Joey Deleon, percussion

Big Phat Band Set List

  • "Rhapsody In Blue" (Gershwin, arr. Goodwin)
  • "Hunting Wabbits" (Goodwin)
  • "Race To The Bridge" (Goodwin)
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Claudio Roditi, photographed in 1990. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

The versatile trumpeter made his way from Brazil to the New York jazz scene in the 1970s. Hear him perform with host Marian McPartland in this 1996 episode.

Claudio Roditi On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/567716375/567717240" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ellyn Rucker at Ivory's Piano Bar in Denver on Apr. 22, 1984. Duane Howell/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Duane Howell/Denver Post via Getty Images

Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

On this 1993 episode, the versatile vocalist and pianist joins host Marian McPartland to play the title song from her album This Heart Of Mine.

Ellyn Rucker On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564710563/564713341" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Grover Washington Jr. performs on stage during the "One Night With Blue Note" concert in New York on Feb. 22, 1985. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In this radio episode, Jazz Night in America takes you to a tribute concert honoring the late musician, whose soulful sound was more than just "smooth."

How Grover Washington Jr. Defined And Transcended 'Smooth Jazz'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564442111/564555947" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Gurtman and Murtha Artist Management

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

Hear "America's First Lady of the Piano" explore the boundaries between classical music and jazz with host Marian McPartland in this 2004 episode.

Ruth Laredo On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562620476/562624249" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jimmy Greene. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist

Jimmy Greene Remembers A 'Beautiful Life'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The saxophonist's 2014 album was dedicated to the memory of his 6-year-old daughter, killed in the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. Hear his quartet perform the genre-spanning music in concert.

Jimmy Greene's 'Beautiful Life'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/418925379/418929187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Teri Thornton, photographed on Jan. 1, 1990. Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Andrew Lepley/Redferns/Getty Images

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

Revisit this 1999 episode of Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, featuring the late vocalist and pianist a year before she lost her battle with cancer.

Teri Thornton On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561711244/561802316" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Frank Stewart

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Jazz Night in America takes you to Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, where the hard-bop drummer celebrated his debut as a band leader and talked about fond memories and favorite sessions.

Louis Hayes Celebrates His 80th Birthday In A Packed Jazz Club

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/561069637/561555776" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Nate Smith Band performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 14, 2017. (Christina Ascani/NPR) Christina Ascani/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Christina Ascani/NPR

Review

Tiny Desk

Nate Smith + KINFOLK

The drums take center stage at this Tiny Desk. Watch veteran jazz percussionist Nate Smith dazzle the NPR audience in a transfixing performance.

Japanese jazz pianist Makoto Ozone at an album photo shoot on February 1, 1986 in New York City. Waring Abbott/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Waring Abbott/Getty Images

Makoto Ozone On Piano Jazz

Revisit the pianist's first appearance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, back when he was still a rising star in 1984.

Makoto Ozone On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/560367691/560368003" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top