Wednesday, April 13, 2005

A different Wynton

Interesting interview with Wynton Marsalis, which I read while giving a second listen to the second CD of “Wynton Marsalis Quartet Live at Blues Alley.”

I had this on my to-buy list for awhile and picked it up with a coupon recently. It’s a different look at the divine Mr. M., whose playing is a lot more, I want to say borrowing a phrase, sweet and low down on this December 1986 date, at which time he was a mere kid of 25. I hear the stuff that attracted Art Blakey to a greater extent than I do in his current work.

Look, I love what he’s done to promote jazz and to spread the word to kids in particular. I think he’s a great band leader, a superior trumpeter and a super composer and arranger. I believe he gets too much abuse from fans of the jazz avant-garde, and I say it as one of them. But his recent CDs have been, well, uninteresting, at least to me. I’d like to hear more of the fire I get from, say, “Skain’s Domain” on “Blues Alley,” a CD set I recommend highly.

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