Released: Oct 2010
This energetic swirl of Ellington-style big-band swing, flashy Spanish fusion and flamenco/jazz helps put to rest the stereotype that Wynton Marsalis is overly cautious or traditional. While Marsalis definitely uses his JALC Orchestra the painterly way Duke used his legendary band, he also branches out into the brash spirit of flamenco, with sense-memories of Sketches of Spain wafting in the breeze (ironic, because he's been unkind to arranger Gil Evans' work in the past). With flamenco/jazz renegades Paco de Lucia and Chano Dominguez onboard, along with a barroom full of hand-clappers and foot-stompers, The Vitoria Suite plays out like an alternately thrilling and sensual Iberian adventure. Instead of being overly cerebral, this one goes directly to the visceral and hits different pleasure centers.