So I have been listening to this again and again since I bought it Friday. Why?
I am sick with a cold and it is just too much effort to change CDs? Because it is easy on my virus-addled brain? Maybe the former, but I don't think the latter particularly.
Not that it isn't easy on the ears, because Wynton Marsalis pretty much always is by nature. But there's some complex, if impeccably rendered, music here, drawing, as is also natural with Marsalis, on New Orleans, Armstrong, Ellington and the Jazz Messengers along with, in places, Mingus (who's all over The Razor Rim), Coltrane and the avant-garde. I hear something new that I like, and that surprises me, in it with each listen.
The music tracks are interspersed with Marsalis-recited poetry touching on aspects of gal-guy relations that I could take or leave, although they add up to a nifty narrative in my mind, fit like a glove with the music and are delivered in quite a soothing manner, which is good for nursing a cold.
Like Marsalis' Big Train (a favorite of mine not especially popular, the fate of He and She, too, I fear) a CD ultimately greater than the sum of its parts.