Marsalis’ Armstrong Dream: Silence Is Golden

Wynton Marsalis’s jazz has long boasted cinematic qualities. His 1992 album Citi Movement was presented as a tone parallel to the dynamics of urban life, and that Pulitzer he earned for Blood on the Fields reminds us that dramatic narrative can be conjured by a small orchestra as eloquently as it can by a libretto. So when the trumpeter and his 10-piece ensemble play their original music to Dan Pritzker’s Louis, a silent-film homage to Louis Armstrong, the coordination between the eyes and ears should be jake. The film, which screens Monday at the Apollo as part of a five-city American tour, imagines the young Armstrong as a wide-eyed naïf who battles a Chaplin-esque villain in boudoirs and backstreets while assisting a damsel in distress and yearning to show off his horn prowess. Call it the Armstrong Story told in dreamscape cinematography that’s as fetching as Marsalis’s poetic motifs. Hit the Voice for details. The Times has more backstory.

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