Wynton Marsalis: The Sun and the Moon
The Sun and the Moon
Wynton Marsalis (trumpet)
He and She (Blue Note 10331)
Composed by Wynton Marsalis.
Recorded: New York, August 24-25, 2007
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
If the people who invented New Orleans jazz had played in 15/8, they might have composed songs like this one. As it stands, we needed to wait for Wynton Marsalis to learn how to go retro and modern at the same time. This is the latest in the trumpeter's metrical reconfigurations of earlier jazz attitudes, dating back to "Hickory Dickory Dock" on The Majesty of the Blues some two decades before this recording. Most of this band wasn't old enough to get into a jazz club (or even a high school dance) back then, but they have imbibed the spirit of this nouveau New Orleans music admirably—although I would like to hear them challenge Marsalis more. The trumpeter for his part opts for subdued melodicism, and seems more interested in developing counterpoint lines with the sax and gliding along with the band then in asserting his horn supremacy. The title here could be the giveaway: the sun may be the biggest star in the galaxy, but it doesn't try to encroach on the moon's nightly luster. Then again, the whole theme of this CD is the necessary give-and-take that makes for successful relationship-building (complete with poetic commentary from the bandleader), and from that perspective the relaxed interactions here may be just the ticket.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia