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Memphis Symphony Orchestra & Marcus Roberts

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    Posted: 01 Nov 2022 at 9:40pm
Marcus Roberts and his trio, Jason Marsalis and Marty Jaffe, have been re-arranging George Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F so that they can play along with it and even add some extensions for jamming. It took some real guts for Robert Moody, music director for the Memphis Symphony, to take on this endeavor because it calls on everyone to improvise at times, even the orchestra.

The concert took place on Sunday October 2, 2022 and was a resounding success. A highlight was a long jam by the trio during which Roberts interpolated contemporary modal hard bop with 20s jazz, showing just how modern jazz was in the day of Gershwin. They also performed a piece by Roberts that fit perfectly with the re-arranged Gershwin piece. The audience was extremely impressed with the concert and gave a long standing ovation. After the concert there was a question and answer meeting during which people were able to directly address the musicians and ask them how they were able to pull this off.

This sort of blues centered piece with room for improvisation seems like a great way for the Memphis Orchestra to go. Let the other orchestras cover all the Germanic greats and let Memphis be Memphis, as Moody himself said in praising the orchestra's performance ... "We know how to get down and dirty".

Edited by js - 02 Nov 2022 at 8:07am
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