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Wynton Marsallis and JALC Orchestra: Congo Square
Wynton Marsallis and JALC Orchestra Congo Square
Actors: Wynton Marsalis, Yacub Addy
Director: Mario Rouleau
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2008     2hr 0min

Congo Square is a musical tribute to New Orleans composed and performed by Wynton Marsalis, trumpet master from New Orleans and Yacub Addy, an African master drumer -- a unique collaboration where a Lincoln Center's great ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Wynton Marsalis, Yacub Addy
Director: Mario Rouleau
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Jazz
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 03/04/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Beauty forged in horror
Mike Hopping | Asheville, NC | 04/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you've got blood in your veins, Congo Square will move it. This collaboration of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Ghanaian percussion ensamble Odadaa! boils with intensity from start to finish, a fitting tribute to Congo Square, once a tiny island of release for the slaves of New Orleans.

The cinematography is basic, but who cares? You don't have to watch the screen. The mix of African sounds and American jazz conjures the tumult, the chatter, and the dancing with compelling drums, horns, and here and there a vocal or spritz of sparkling piano. Congo Square is a crowd scene rather than a showcase for soloists, including Marsalis. Maybe closer to Gershwin than typical big band sounds.

This music is an accessible and exuberant achievement, a tonic for the pop weary. It richly deserves an audience.

All I can say
Gerald Davis | Melbourne, FL United States | 06/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Let me not talk about the technical mastery and excellent (Ghanian) African percussion and Jazz displayed herein... Instead wish to focus on the fun present in this presentation not only could you tell the audience had a blast but the love and joy expressed by the performers of this music is evident and infects you and moves you to shake your body!

I often find it ironic that many of Wynton Marsalis' detractors accuse him of being too classical making Jazz antiquated and stifling the creativity in Jazz because of his refusal to accept or acknowledge smooth Jazz, electronic fusion and free and advant garde Jazz I don't personally listen extensively to those forms but his detractors also say by his blunt decision to go only as for as bebop and its derivative forms he lacks true creativity and wishes to make Jazz a 'museum' piece to them I say TAKE THIS AND CALL ME IN MORNING

The music created here and played is fresh, inventive, informative fun and SWINGINGGGGGGGGGG whether it be ODADDA! or the JALC or the call and response exhibited when the two groups play together.

Lastly while I was clearly never born in the period of which this suite Congo Square was written I find myself taken there hearing the drums, seeing and feeling what it must of be like to express your freedom in the only available safe venue

This is the true function of music to enlighten to uplift and to enjoy.

Well done JALC and Odadaa!
Wynton Marsalis & African Drummer Yacub Addy Create History
ablaba | USA | 03/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It took two great and unique musicians - the African drummer Yacub Addy and Wynton Marsalis - to blend Ghanaian percussion and songs with jazz forms on this level. The result is amazing. This is a culturally historic masterwork, but it's also some of the most dynamic and hot music you've ever heard - it lifts the spirit and moves the body.

Each of the musicians of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Yacub Addy's ensemble Odadaa! have made a great effort and the love shows.

This concert was the opening event of the 2007 Montreal Jazz Festival, and comes at the end of the second national tour of the music. The music naturally evolved over this time and the result is a performance unique from the CD recorded at the end of the first tour."
Nikica Gilic | Zagreb, Croatia | 12/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Although I'm not a big fan of African music this collaboration between Marsalis-lead JALC (Jazz at the Lincoln Center) big band and Odadaa!, an absolutely remarkable group of Ghanese (Ghanian?) musicians; mostly percussionists and singers; is something special...
The title refers to the slave-market but you don't really have to know that to feel the swing and drive of these performances, but also the warm emotion projected particularly from the Odadaa!'s lead singer...

And yes, all those who think that Marsalis is conservative or narrow-minded should check out this gloriuos dvd. Two hours of first class music that transcends boundaries of time and space, connecting not only African and American music and musicians (not all the JALC members are Black) but also various styles of jazz and other types of (African) American music.

And Wynton is a true leader of his group, not hogging the spotlight, giving ample space for his band's stars (for instance, Marcus Printup is one of the trumpeters), but still demonstrating the impressive range and expressiveness of his playing (Cootie Williams meets Clifford Brown). Wynton's solos (as well as the collaborations with Yacub Addy and JALC musicians) is quite remarkable."