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Live At Blues Alley by Wynton Marsalis
Released: Jan 1986
Label: Columbia
Marsalis' first live effort, from 1987, easily flaunts his gifts as a soloist and makes another important contribution to his musical legacy. Through exploratory takes on early jazz tunes like "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" and "Just Friends," listeners get a taste of Marsalis' importance as an ambassador of jazz's history. The trio behind him -- pianist Marcus Roberts, bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts -- truly shines. Charlie Parker's "Au Privave" kicks off the record's second half with the collection's most thorough workout.
Nate Cavalieri

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