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The Gig: Touch That Dial

If you watched network television during the first few months of this year, you probably saw “Sparks,” the Apple commercial featuring a silhouetted Wynton Marsalis Quartet. And you no doubt did a double take-or if you’re like me, paused and rewound your digital cable to watch the 30-second spot again.

With sharp contrast and shifting blue hues, “Sparks” conveys all the cool of a Reid Miles album cover design. But it’s also a burst of kinetic energy: Marsalis struts, his band crackles and a handful of neohipsters move in time (with iPods at the ready, of course).

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Originally Published
Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen is the director of editorial content for WBGO and a longtime contributor to JazzTimes, which published 125 installments of his column “The Gig” between 2004 and 2017. For 12 years, he was a critic for The New York Times; prior to that, he wrote about jazz for the Village Voice, the Philadelphia City Paper, and several other publications. He is the author of Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century (2018) and the co-author of George Wein’s autobiography Myself Among Others: A Life in Music (2003).