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Gerald Wilson Conducts 'Monterey Moods' Premiere

Many Monterey Jazz Festival alumni can't help but come back every year. According to the liner notes of the recently released Live at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival CD by Dizzy Gillespie, even when the trumpeter wasn't invited to play, he'd "pop in" unannounced and jam with anyone who'd let him.

Gerald Wilson is one such alumnus. Obsessed with the coastal city's legendary festival, he has performed there many times and attended frequently as an enthusiast. As with the 20th and 40th anniversaries of Monterey, Wilson was commissioned to write a new piece for the 50th anniversary, which he calls Monterey Moods.

In this performance, webcast here in its entirety, Wilson premieres the seven-part suite at the festival. It's a celebratory exploration of all the various forms of jazz that have come through Monterey in its 50 years, with a repeating three-note theme that exclaims, "I love Monterey!"

Newark, N.J.-based NPR station WBGO has been broadcasting some of the best jazz music in the world since 1979.

Copyright 2007 WBGO