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Half Past Autumn Suite

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Album Review

Trumpeter and los Hombres Calientes co-founder Irvin Mayfield's third album for the Basin Street label is an ambitious suite of compositions written in honor of photographer Gordon Parks, whose works were placed on exhibit in the New Orleans Museum of Art in 2000. As might be expected, Mayfield's compositions tend towards the abstract and impressionistic, with moments that draw explicitly on various musical traditions of New Orleans (note especially the brass band and second-line flavors that permeate "Evening") and on the blues (note especially the wonderful "Blue Dawn ('Til the Morning)," which features a spectacular cameo appearance by Wynton Marsalis). The album's finest moment, though, comes on the gently beautiful "Wind Song," a trumpet and piano duet between Mayfield and Parks himself. The CD includes a CD-ROM component that offers downloadable photos from the exhibition, an interview with Parks, and two behind-the-scenes videos of the band during the album's recording sessions. Recommended.


Born: New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield released half a dozen albums before he was 25 years old. His youth, as well as his willingness to contribute his time and knowledge in the spheres of both classical and jazz studies, make him a popular figure in educational music clinics in his home state of Louisiana. He frequently participates in free clinics that serve hundreds of school children. In addition, he has presided over master classes and a variety of workshops in classical and jazz studies at the Chandler Jazz...
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