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He And She by Wynton Marsalis
Released: Mar 2009
Label: Blue Note Records
Marsalis alternates between short spoken word vignettes and musical pieces on a set about growing up, discovering the thrills of romance and the heartaches associated with love and the loss of innocence. There is a bittersweet, autumnal quality to Marsalis' writing, and he and his band work together wonderfully (with special props going out to pianist Dan Zimmer, a new associate). Much of the album is also a lesson in how to swing without always playing in 4/4 time -- there are waltzes, boleros and tangos here, yet all are burnished with the romantic light and sensual warmth of American jazz.
Nick Dedina

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