BOY MEETS HORN

Silence is golden in Marsalis’s Armstrong allegory

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 tonight 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.
Mon., Aug. 30, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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