Wynton Marsalis: The Ways of Love
The Ways of Love
Tune In Tomorrow (Sony 47044)
Wynton Marsalis (trumpet), Shirley Horn (vocals), Wes Anderson (alto sax), Todd Williams (tenor and soprano sax, clarinet), Herb Harris (tenor saxophone), Alvin Batiste (clarinet), Joe Temperley (baritone sax), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone), Marcus Roberts (piano), Reginald Veal (bass), Herlin Riley (drums).
Composed by Wynton Marsalis and Joel Siegel. String arrangements by Sonny Kompanek.
Recorded: New York City, 1989
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Marsalis's evocative writing for the score of the 1990 film Tune in Tomorrow was a further indication of his progress as a composer and arranger, which would soon be emphatically affirmed on the CDs Blue Interlude, Citi Movement, and In This House, On This Morning. This soundtrack also marked the recorded debut of the trumpeter's core septet (plus additional musicians). Based on the novel Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa, which was set in the early '50's in Lima, Peru, the screenplay transferred the location to Marsalis's hometown of New Orleans, a place and time that Marsalis deftly brings to life in his music.
Whereas much of the score rejoices in the multifaceted traditions of New Orleans style polyphonic jazz, from its midst emerges a winsome Marsalis ballad with lyrics by Joel Siegel, a sort of less subtle "Teach Me Tonight" involving the relatively inexperienced film character Martin (Keanu Reeves) and Julia (Barbara Hershey), the older woman that he woos. The band plays a poignant vamp preceding Marsalis' limning of the graceful, floating theme, as the horns waft gently in and out. Then Shirley Horn enters to tenderly express, with her usual masterful understatement, the essence of the lyrics. "Cradle me in your embrace / and soothe me until you hear me sigh / pleasure me in all the secret places / teach me all the ways of love." Marsalis lush writing for his augmented septet, in support of Horn's vocal, is warmly articulate and radiantly colored.
Reviewer: Scott Albin