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Jazz - Released April 19, 2019 | Blue Engine Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released January 24, 1990 | Columbia

On the third of his three standards albums, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis meets up with his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis (along with bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Herlin Riley), for 17 standards and three of his originals (including "In the Court of King Oliver"). Wynton, perhaps because of his father's presence, is very respectful of the melodies, sometimes overly so. The result is that this set is not as adventurous as one would like although Marsalis's beautiful tone makes the music worth hearing. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 31, 2007 | Columbia - Legacy

As a staunch jazz classicist and a vociferous champion of its traditions, Wynton Marsalis should seem right at home playing an album of jazz standards. And, in fact, he does. Marsalis is well suited to classic, acoustic sets, in part because of his clear, lyrical tone on the trumpet, but mostly because of his love for the music (Marsalis's aversion to avant garde, fusion, and other experimental takes on the genre is well known). The set list of STANDARDS has many of the usual suspects, including "April in Paris," "A Foggy Day," "Django," and "Caravan." It's clear Marsalis isn't out to radically re-invent these tunes, but rather to give them classic renderings, summoning the ghost of early, acoustic post-bop with an appealing sense of balance, beauty, and technical precision. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 9, 1985 | Columbia

This is probably the best Wynton Marsalis recording from his Miles Davis period. With his brother Branford (who doubles here on tenor and soprano) often closely emulating Wayne Shorter and the rhythm section (pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Jeff Watts) sounding a bit like the famous Herbie Hancock-Ron Carter-Tony Williams trio, Wynton is heard at the head of what was essentially an updated version of the mid- to late-'60s Miles Davis Quintet (despite Stanley Crouch's pronouncements in his typically absurd liner notes about Marsalis' individuality). The music is brilliantly played and displays what the "Young Lions" movement was really about: young musicians choosing to explore acoustic jazz and to extend the innovations of the pre-fusion modern mainstream style. Marsalis would develop his own sound a few years later, but even at age 23 he had few close competitors. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 16, 1999 | Columbia

As if releasing eight single albums in 1999 weren't enough, Wynton Marsalis capped this deluge of material at the end of the year with a seven-CD mini-box of live recordings, taped over a five-year span at New York City's Village Vanguard club. Greed certainly wasn't the motive, for Sony Music priced the set at an unbelievably low $39.98, so the issue is whether Marsalis is justified in feeling that his music is worth documenting in such exhaustive detail. Each disc is organized to simulate a different night of the week, with a different, often loosely defined, and not-always-followed theme for each disc. The box reflects the Marsalis septet in a joyous mood as it hit the the Vanguard stage each night, spurred on by a vocal, exuberant throng packed into the small, wedge-shaped joint. The well-drilled septet was capable of assimilating a varied, if selective, spectrum of jazz tradition, from the New Orleans funeral music and handkerchief-waving street sass of "Flee As a Bird to the Mountain/Happy Feet Blues" to the sizzling post-bop of "The Cat in the Hat Is Back." Their indefatigable trumpeter/leader is the most liberated, expressive player of the lot. Along with a selection of standards and originals, there are also full-length and excerpted live treatments of some of Marsalis' extended pieces. A number of the performances, particularly of some of his own material, are a bit too well drilled; the loosest contrapuntal New Orleans jams go over the best for the home listener. In the grand scheme of jazz history, this music won't rank with some other landmark sessions at the Vanguard in terms of influence or transcendence. Yet the music deserves a hearing as an extended souvenir of one of the most talented neo-conservative bands of the '90s. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 6, 1991 | Columbia

Wynton Marsalis's second of three standard albums was actually released after the third volume. On most of the selections, the brilliant trumpeter is heard in excellent form with his quartet (comprised of pianist Marcus Roberts, bassist Reginald Veal or Robert Hurst and either Herlin Riley or Jeff Watts on drums); tenorman Todd Williams helps out on "I'll Remember April" and altoist Wes Anderson is also added to "Crepuscule with Nellie." Marsalis's tone really makes the ballads worth hearing, and his unusual choice and placement of notes keeps the music stimulating. This mostly bop-oriented set is rounded off by a jaunty version of "Bourbon Street Parade." © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 7, 1987 | Columbia

On the first of three volumes, Wynton Marsalis explores ten standards plus two of his originals with his quartet of the period (which consists of pianist Marcus Roberts, bassist Robert Hurst III, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts). Marsalis' tone is quite beautiful on the well-balanced set; even the ballads have their unpredictable moments. Among the more memorable performances are his treatments of "Caravan," "April in Paris," "New Orleans," "Memories of You," and two versions of "Cherokee." © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 31, 2007 | Columbia - Legacy

As a staunch jazz classicist and a vociferous champion of its traditions, Wynton Marsalis should seem right at home playing an album of jazz standards. And, in fact, he does. Marsalis is well suited to classic, acoustic sets, in part because of his clear, lyrical tone on the trumpet, but mostly because of his love for the music (Marsalis's aversion to avant garde, fusion, and other experimental takes on the genre is well known). The set list of STANDARDS has many of the usual suspects, including "April in Paris," "A Foggy Day," "Django," and "Caravan." It's clear Marsalis isn't out to radically re-invent these tunes, but rather to give them classic renderings, summoning the ghost of early, acoustic post-bop with an appealing sense of balance, beauty, and technical precision. © TiVo
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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 1990 | Columbia

Due to some of his statements, Wynton Marsalis gained the reputation of not having much of a sense of humor but the picture of him on this album (plus the music in general) dispelled that notion. Marsalis and his expanded septet (which welcomed such guests as clarinetist Alvin Batiste, baritonist Joe Temperley and, on one song apiece, singers Jon Hendricks and Kathleen Battle) clearly have a good time on this joyous and unpredictable set of holiday cheer. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1990 | SMCMG

Due to some of his statements, Wynton Marsalis gained the reputation of not having much of a sense of humor but the picture of him on this album (plus the music in general) dispelled that notion. Marsalis and his expanded septet (which welcomed such guests as clarinetist Alvin Batiste, baritonist Joe Temperley and, on one song apiece, singers Jon Hendricks and Kathleen Battle) clearly have a good time on this joyous and unpredictable set of holiday cheer. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1991 | Columbia

With Wynton Marsalis, exuberance, energy and high-level musicianship is never an issue, but long-windedness can be. This may be one of the best of the trumpeter's mid-sized ensembles, a septet, with pianist Marcus Roberts, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonists Wessell Anderson and Todd Williams, bassist Reginald Veal, and drummer Herlin Riley. It is also to the credit of Marsalis that he allows solid group interplay, and much room for his sidemen to not only stretch, but to also include their written works in the repertoire. The problem is for the listener, as the bulk of this material lays in long form, and is more a test for the band's stamina than the pleasure of the beholder. It works in concert, but not on the radio or at home. The 37-plus-minute title track, a grandiose treatise on bittersweet romance, is the most egregious with lengthy solos, tight but verbose ensemble sections, up-and-down dynamics, and rhythmic variations. "The Jubilee Suite" is only 12 minutes, and much more concise, echoing anthemic clarion calls, a hip modern New Orleans groove, and features for the clarinet of Williams and Marsalis. "And the Band Played On" is a processional march, and "Brother Veal" exudes a warm feeling marinated in easy swing, with the clarinet of Williams again a focal point. The last piece, "Sometimes It Goes Like That," is the most complex melody, using the typical variable tempo and melodic devices that make a Marsalis jazz tune fairly recognizable. The cover art and title might indicate this was a blue interlude in the personal life of Marsalis translated into music (and words on the indulgent "Monologue" prelude to the title cut) and self-consciously rendered. It's fine music, but not particularly unique or original. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 9, 1994 | Columbia

For this CD, Wynton and Ellis Marsalis perform music both old and new that is heard on the Peanuts television specials. Wynton's septet (altoist Wessell Anderson, Victor Goines on tenor, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, pianist Eric Reed, bassist Benjamin Wolfe, and drummer Herlin Riley in addition to the trumpeter-leader) jam on several of Marsalis' compositions, Ellis Marsalis' trio performs six of Vince Guaraldi's themes and, on "Little Birdie," an all-star group (including three of the Marsalises but not Wynton) back Germaine Bazzle's vocal. The music is reasonably enjoyable but not too substantial, worth getting even if it is not one of Wynton's more significant albums. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Blues - Released April 28, 1998 | Columbia

The Midnight Blues is the fifth installment in his ongoing Standard Time series, where he offers his own interpretations of classic American pop, jazz and blues songs. Supported by pianist Eric Reed, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Lewis Nash, as well as a 31-piece string orchestra, he runs through a number of standards -- "The Party's Over," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Baby, Won't You Please Come Home," "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" and "My Man's Gone Now" -- which are arranged and conducted by Bob Freedman, Marsalis' longtime collaborator. The album falls somewhere between Hot House Flowers and one of the early volumes of Standard Time, as it has a lush sound but remains quite idiosyncratic and quietly adventurous in its arrangements. The result is a lovely, albeit minor, addition to Marsalis' rich catalog. © Leo Stanley /TiVo
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Classical - Released April 21, 1992 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 31, 1998 | Sony Classical

There are undoubtedly many jazz fans who've been curious about Wynton Marsalis' classical recordings. Recognizing Marsalis' canon would benefit from an introductory volume, Sony Classical compiled Classic Wynton, which includes a cross-section of his non-jazz recordings from 1984 to 1998. Fans won't be surprised by the artist's clear, pure tone on these pieces, composed by Purcell, Handel, J.S. Bach, Hovhaness, Rimsky-Korsakov, and J.B. Arban. (The last, "Variations on 'Le Carnaval de Venise'," is famous as one of teenage Wynton's favorite pieces from his practice book.) Unfortunately for novices, the liners neglect a list of his classical discography, and the 1998 date ensures that several of his famous 1999 performances won't be present. Still, dipping a toe in the water is quite easy with this volume. © TiVo
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Jazz - Released June 21, 2010 | Rampart Street, LLC - Jazz in Marciac

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Jazz - Released June 21, 1988 | Columbia

This double album features the great trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his 1986 quartet, a unit featuring pianist Marcus Roberts, bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. Although Marsalis during this period still hinted strongly at Miles Davis, his own musical personality was starting to finally shine through. With the versatile Marcus Roberts (who thus far has been the most significant graduate from Marsalis's groups), Wynton Marsalis was beginning to explore older material, including on this set "Just Friends," and "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" other highlights include lengthy workouts on "Au Privave" and Kenny Kirkland's "Chambers of Tain." This two-fer is recommended, as are virtually all of Wynton Marsalis's recordings. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1984 | Columbia

Wynton Marsalis, very much in his Miles Davis period, plays quite melodically throughout this ballad-dominated outing with strings. Branford Marsalis (on tenor and soprano), flutist Kent Jordan, pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Jeff Watts are strong assets but it is Wynton's subtle creativity on such songs as "Stardust," "When You Wish Upon a Star," Duke Ellington's "Melancholia," and "I'm Confessin'" that makes this recording special. The arrangements by Robert Freedman generally keep the strings from sounding too sticky and Wynton's tone is consistently beautiful. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1983 | Columbia

In his early years after leaving Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Wynton Marsalis strode forth with this excellent recording, his second as a leader, done in tandem with brother Branford, also out of Blakey's herd. The combination of the two siblings created quite a buzz in the music community, and this recording, which may stand the test of time as his finest, is one of the more solid mainstream jazz statements from the Young Lions movement of the early '80s. Top to bottom, this music sings, swings, simmers, and cooks with a cool verve that, in retrospect, would turn more overtly intellectual over time. A command of dynamics akin to those of Charles Mingus creates a signature sound, heard clearly in the opener, "Knozz-Moe-King," fueled by supercharged bop; the bold, extroverted, and precise trumpeting of the leader; and Kenny Kirkland's complementary piano comping. It could be the best single track of the entire recording career of Wynton. Ranking close behind is the tick-tock drumming of Jeff Watts, informing the pretty albeit dark musings of the brothers during "Fuchsia," and the sighing horns, samba bass of Phil Bowler, and stop-start modernities of an utterly original "The Bell Ringer." A bouncy treatment of the standard "My Ideal" shows Wynton's singing tone through his horn, a great interpretation of Thelonious Monk's "Think of One" is totally sly and slinky in low-register hues, and triplet phrases that have become a staple of the Marsalis musical identity accent "Later," adapted from a phrase similar to "Surrey with the Fringe on Top." At their unified best, Wynton and Branford shine on the tricky "What Is Happening Here (Now)?," a spillover residual of their time with Blakey. Think of One is a definitive statement for Wynton Marsalis, and though other efforts turned much more elaborate, none have been played better -- with more palpable spark and original ideas -- than this fine studio date. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Classical - Released November 25, 1984 | Sony Classical

Having made a commercially and artistically successful classical debut with a classical-period album the year before, Marsalis doubled back to the Baroque era for the follow-up, a grab bag of concertos, overtures, arias, and such. If anything, this album is even more winning than the debut album because the program offers several easily assimilated changes of pace and the music contains more opportunities for Marsalis to soar in the trumpet's high-flying upper register. He flashes through the Fasch Trumpet Concerto, a pair of Torelli Sonatas for Trumpet and Strings, short excerpts from Purcell's operas, and Molter's Trumpet Concerto No. 2 in high style, displaying a smooth, straightforward tone that doesn't go beyond letting the music speak for itself. Soprano Edita Gruberova sounds luminous yet a bit distant and not too intelligible in Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim and Eternal Source of Light Divine and Purcell's Sound the Trumpet. But then, it's pretty obvious who the designated star is; Marsalis' trumpet is always mixed above that of his singer. Raymond Leppard returns to lead stylishly tailored accompaniments, recorded in London with the crack English Chamber Orchestra. Like the one before it, this classical album was released simultaneously with a Marsalis jazz project (Hot House Flowers), making both divisions of CBS Records extremely happy. © TiVo