Wynton Marsalis: Sister Cheryl


Sister Cheryl


Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)


Wynton Marsalis (Columbia 468708)

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Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Branford Marsalis (soprano sax), Herbie Hancock (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Tony Williams (drums).

Composed by Tony Williams


Recorded: July 1981


Rating: 97/100 (learn more)

Generally when the drummer contributes a composition to the date, it comes dressed in meager threads—a few chords stitched together, with only enough substance to support a percussion solo. But on Wynton Marsalis's debut date as a leader, Tony Williams offers up a great jam tune, his medium-tempo "Sister Cheryl." Wynton takes the lead solo, and tosses out short, choppy phrases that snap and pop—all with that big and beautiful 'early Marsalis' tone. This section alone would earn high marks for the track. But brother Branford offers a very smart soprano solo. He also starts with little phrases, but they get longer and more polytonal in the second eight bars, and before closing out the chorus, Branford is dancing with long loping lines. I hated to hear this solo end—if you listen closely you can hear me begging my CD player to give the saxophonist another chorus. I guess I should be content with seven-and-a-half minutes of "Sister Cheryl"; but I can't help asking: "Cheryl, are there any more at home like you?"

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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