Lush Life: Celebrating Billy Strayhorn
JLCO Performances • 1h 41m
Legend has it that Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967) wrote the American songbook icon, “Lush Life,” at the tender age of 16. Though this early date has been disputed by some scholars, what isn’t in question is that Duke Ellington's first recordings of Strayhorn’s work were published when Strayhorn was only 23 years old. In the centenary year of Billy Strayhorn’s birth, it’s fitting that the JLCO with Wynton Marsalis concluded the 2015-16 season by celebrating Strayhorn's life and career.
With additional music direction by JLCO pianist Dan Nimmer, the JLCO with Wynton Marsalis was joined by renowned vocalist and pianist Johnny O’Neal. Throughout his career, O’Neal worked regularly with Clark Terry, Ray Brown, Art Blakey, and many others. Of O’Neal, piano legend Barry Harris, who mentored him in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s, once said: “He’s a very special cat. If ever somebody sounded like Art Tatum, it’s him. He’s got it all.”
Sherman Irby - alto & soprano saxophones, flute, piccolo, Bb clarinet
Sharel Cassity - Alto Saxophone
Victor Goines - tenor saxophone, Bb & Eb clarinets
Walter Blanding - tenor saxophone
Paul Nedzela - baritone & alto saxophones, bass clarinet
Dan Nimmer - piano
Carlos Henriquez - bass
Ali Jackson - drums
Johnny O'Neal - piano, vocals
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