Second Line (Joe Avery’s Blues) – 2010

Wynton Marsalis


An uptempo blues featuring Marsalis’ all-star ensemble

“Joe Avery’s Blues,” which in recent times has been renamed “Second Line,” is a traditional New Orleans parade band number that never fails to rouse an audience.

Wynton Marsalis revived the song in the 1990s and has often used it as a closer or an encore number.

For this version from Jazz In Marciac on August 1, 2010, Marsalis ended his quintet set by welcoming guest pianist Jon Batiste, guitarist Frank Vignola and violinist Mark O’Connor; they joined his regular band members tenor-saxophonist Walter Blanding, bassist Carlos Henriquez and drummer Ali Jackson.

Starting with Marsalis’ fanfare, “Joe Avery’s Blues” (which alternates between parade rhythms and a cooking straight ahead tempo) has exciting solos from Batiste, Blanding on tenor, Vignola, and O’Connor.

Marsalis plays a rhythmic solo full of riffs that is reminiscent of a trumpeter leading a brass band, gradually building up the heat and directing the ensemble.

After Ali Jackson takes a fine drum solo, there is a surprise as Blanding switches to clarinet and takes solo honors as he jams with the swing ensemble that also features Marsalis and O’Connor before the colorful performance ends.

-Scott Yanow

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