Wynton Marsalis: J Mood


J Mood


Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)


J Mood (Sony / Columbia 40308)

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Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Marcus Roberts (piano), Robert Hurst (bass), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums).

Composed by Wynton Marsalis


Recorded: New York, Dec 17-20, 1985


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

Even as a teenager, Wynton Marsalis dazzled audiences with the sureness of his technique and the power and beauty of his tone. But the suppleness and variety of his rhythmic phrasing only came in his early twenties. By the age of 24—when he recorded J Mood—the young trumpeter was pushing beyond the conventional boundaries of hard-bop phraseology, slicing and dicing the beat in ways few of his predecessors had attempted. He would continue to push ahead in this vein with a series of releases from the late 1980s, but we can hear an early example of these advanced explorations in this track. The performance begins with a quirky theme—like a Blue Note head with extra beats tossed in hither and thither—before settling into a 12-bar blues, which Marsalis dissects with surgical skill. The rhythm section—which, on its own, must rank as one of the finest trios of the decade—provides a supple cushion for the proceedings.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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