Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wynton Marsalis - Uptown Ruler: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 2 (1991)

According to Marsalis' website, this CD contains a blues cycle for quintet and sextet that ranges through the full glory of the blues tradition. Among other things, it introduces us to the Uptown Ruler, a mythic New Orleans hero whose “persona is obviously multifaceted,” Wynton remarks, because he is “accepted without question in the houses of worship . . . [and] ill repute.” Most of all, the cycle reveals the complex human message of the low moaning blues that echoes in the foghorn of a riverboat, the lament of a spiritual, or the simmering dishes of a home cooked meal.

The publicity people for Sony/Columbia can talk all they want about "the full glory of the blues tradition," but saying it doesn't make it so. This is not my favorite Marsalis CD. The playing is exceptional (particularly pianist Marcus Roberts), but the material is weak, mainly because of its lack of melody. Meh.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: The two versions of Psalm 26 that bookend this album are both enjoyable as are The Truth Is Spoken Here and Down Home With Homey. I'll pass on the rest.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Two Men with the Blues (2008)
Baroque Music for Trumpets (1988)
J Mood (1986)
Trumpet Concertos (1983)

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