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Blues for the New Millennium

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Album Review

This intriguing release features pianist Marcus Roberts and a dozen of his originals played by a variety of young musicians in groups as large as 11 pieces. The compositions (other than Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues" and Jelly Roll Morton's "Jungle Blues") are all by the pianist, as are the arrangements. In general, the original tunes themselves are not all that memorable (none of the melodies are destined to catch on), but the charts are quite colorful and often make the ensembles sound like a distortion of early-1930s Duke Ellington (with some McCoy Tyner-like piano here and there from Roberts). There are plenty of excellent solos from the band (which includes trumpeter Marcus Printup, trombonist Ronald Westley and altoist Sherman Irby) during the episodic music, and the CD rewards repeated listenings. An intriguing set.


Born: August 7, 1963 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Jazz pianist Marcus Roberts' focus on traditional styles and his willingness to speak sometimes disdainfully of music of more contemporary vintage has not been well accepted in some circles, and for a time he began to engender the type of attacks more often reserved for Wynton Marsalis and others regarded as reactionaries by some members of the jazz press. But Roberts must be credited with going his own way; unlike many of today's jazz pianists, he has little if any ties to McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal,...
Full Bio
Blues for the New Millennium, Marcus Roberts
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Sep 01, 1997

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