One of my favorite Marsalis albums. As the title suggests, this album sees his quartet journey through nine standards and two Marsalis originals. Marsalis' tone is fantastic in all registers and the band swings hard. Pianist Marcus Roberts nearly steals the show except the polyrhythmic efforts of drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts don't quite allow him to. Marsalis bravely picked excellent material by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Juan Tizol, Ray Noble, Eubie Blake and Hoagy Carmichael. It's all been done many, many times but the quartet manages to put a new twist on all of it. The Marsalis website correctly promotes this album as "a memorable encounter between jazz past and jazz present that gives more than a hint, surely, of jazz future." I'm all for new and innovative tunes, but its also nice to hear these standards updated for new generations of music lovers. This Grammy award-winning album is a quality addition to any jazz library, including fledgling ones.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #153
Peak on Billboard's Jazz LPs chart: #2
Tracks: Lots of good stuff here, but my favorite cuts are Caravan, April in Paris, New Orleans, Foggy Day, Autumn Leaves, and the Cherokee reprise.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I remember sitting around with Randy, one of my college roommates, figuring out what was going with the meter in Autumn Leaves. We quickly heard what was going on - with the actual measure time remaining constant, the band adds a beat to each measure then reverses the process. After figuring that out, we were completely captivated and must have listened to that track for an hour straight.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Two Men with the Blues (2008)
Live at The Village Vanguard (1999)
Standard Time, Vol. 4: Marsalis Plays Monk (1999)
Joe Cool's Blues (1995)
Baroque Duet (1992)
Uptown Ruler: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 2 (1991)
The Original Soundtrack From Tune In Tomorrow... (1990)
Crescent City Christmas Card (1989)
Baroque Music for Trumpets (1988)
J Mood (1986)
Black Codes (From The Underground) (1985)
Baroque Music for Trumpet (1984)
Trumpet Concertos (1983)