Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Review: Jazz & Colors at NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

A meeting of the masters

Ben Williams & Sound Effect: Williams (bass), John Davis (drums), Victor Gould (keys), Marcus Strickland (saxophone) at Jazz & Colors, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 1-15 (Not seen: guitarist Matt Stevens)
Brandee Younger Jazz Harp Quartet: Younger (harp), Chris Beck (drums), Chelsea Baratz (tenor sax), Matt Dwonsyk (bass) at Jazz & Colors, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 1-15
Brad Jones (bass) and Bruce Cox (drums), playing with Don Byron (not seen) at Jazz & Colors, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 1-15
Lakecia Benjamin & Soulsquad: Benjamin (sax), Maurice Brown (trumpet), Eric Brown (drums), Brian Cockerham (bass), Aaron Swinnerton (keyboards) at Jazz & Colors, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 1-15
Marvin Sewell Group: Sewell (guitar), Sam Newsome (soprano sax), James Hurt (keys), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), Darrel Green (drums) at Jazz & Colors, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 1-15
Mino Cinelu’s World Jazz Trio: Cinelu (drums, vocals), Jesse Fisher (keys, vocals), David Cutler (bass, vocals), Jazz & Colors, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC 1-15

Jazz composition has established a long and fruitful relationship with visual art. Duke Ellington’s “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,” Charles Mingus’ “Self-Portrait in Three Colors” and Miles Davis’ “Sketches of Spain” all ostensibly drew from the principles of movement, balance and hue for a kind of jazz synesthesia, just as Romare Bearden’s jazz-inspired collages visualized syncopation, repetition and motivic improvisation. Jazz criticism’s descriptive palette has liberally used visual metaphors to the point of cliché. But what about jazz programming?

On Friday, January 30, “Jazz and Colors,” now in its third year, made that interdisciplinary connection in broad strokes, with 15 ensembles performing the same set list in 15 galleries spread across New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event, a co-production of impresario Peter Shapiro and Met Museum Presents, was programmed by Brice Rosenbloom, music director at Le Poisson Rouge and a producer of Winter Jazzfest, and Limor Tomer, general manager of concerts and lectures at the Met.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published