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.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wynton Marsalis - Crescent City Christmas Card (1989)


Not my favorite Marsalis album, but not my least favorite, either. However, it isn't something I pull out every December and give a listen to. Up until the time of this release, I had listened to Marsalis with his quintets and quartets, so this was my first exposure to his music with a 9 piece group. The clarinet, alto sax, and soprano sax are all scored so high in their ranges, that the screechy neo-bop meets Dixieland arrangements just don't appeal to me. It's a shame because there is some good playing by pianist Marcus Roberts and good soloing by Marsalis. Not my bag. In 2009, for his 78th release(!), Marsalis released another holiday album, Christmas Jam Jazz, but after being disappointed with this earlier release, I just don't have it in me to even check out the samples.

Tracks: The best track is Winter Wonderland, which is played by only a quartet. A close second is O Come All Ye Faithful, a tasteful piano solo by Roberts. Of the remainder, the better tunes are We Three Kings and Let it Snow. It's nice to hear Jon Hendricks sing Sleigh Ride, but Diva Kathleen Battle's wide vibrato seems oddly out of place on Silent Night. Between the unpleasant harmonies and screeching woodwinds, the version of Little Drummer Boy is downright painful. This may be the first time I've finished the final track, a reading of Twas The Night Before Christmas with a disjointed musical accompaniment.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Bought in '89, this was one of the first Christmas CD's I ever purchased.

Previously revisited for the blog:
Two Men with the Blues (2008)
Uptown Ruler: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 2 (1991)
Baroque Music for Trumpets (1988)
J Mood (1986)
Trumpet Concertos (1983)

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