|Imagine for a moment, the excitement and musical power generated by an ensemble consisting of twenty-five talented musicians using their gifts to continue and extend the proud traditions of the legendary "big bands". Now, imagine that s ame ensemble performing fresh and original compositions incorporating vocalists, poets, and dancers. You now have envisioned Shadow Vignettes.
Shadow Vignettes: Odd Eye O Mumbo Jumbo is an uproarious romp through the life and times of one of the world's premier music ensembles. Now for the first time, award winning filmmaker Jonathan Woods gives us an insider's view into the philosophical and musical wizardry which fuels some of today's most breathtaking music.
Based in Chicago and marking its thirtieth anniversary, the 25 piece performance ensemble known as Shadow Vignettes, was originally envisioned as a trio. Put together to perform a musical version of a jail house toast poem Honky Tonk Bud, the trio grew and grew and grew - to its present size of grand proportions. Except for getting larger, the membership of the ensemble has barely changed through the years. The group's performances are always unpredictably and spontaneously different, recreating the excitement and musical power generated by the legendary big bands of Ellington, Basie, Lunceford, Calloway,Sun Ra and the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians).
Shadow Vignettes dares to plumb the emotional and intellectual depth of a diverse program of original creative music, while retaining the pageantry, theatricality, color and humor of a night at the famous Cotton Club in Harlem of the 1930's.
The members of Shadow Vignettes come from various backgrounds and musical experiences ranging from improvising combos to symphony orchestras to traditional ethnic musics. The music reflects the colorful diversity of its members, as each piece is specifically composed with the particular talents of each of the players in mind. Wilkerson says " Shadow Vignettes is like traveling with a little village. There are all different types of people, different religions and backgrounds. As we travel together on the bus, I just sit and listen to the exchange of ideas - it's never dull. I've tried to model the music on that dialogue."
"Shadow Vignettes, an amazing 24 piece ensemble that melds razor sharp progressiveness and big band harmonies with the lightest and most engaging of touches" - Chicago Sun Times
"The cloud of familiarity lifted temporarily and spectacularly during the performance of Shadow Vignettes" - Chicago Reader
"What a piece of work! Edward Wilkerson is the mastermind behind this romping, stomping 25 piece ensemble which manages to incorporate a zillion elements into a cohesive whole that swings with an exhilarating urgency" - Cashbox Magazine
DVD features live performances and never before seen behind the scenes interviews.
Also includes "Honky Tonk Bud" - a cult film featuring the music of Edward Wilkerson, Jr.