THE MUSIC OF AMERICA: Inventing Jazz - Wynton Marsalis
Released: Jan 2012
Label: MASTERWORKS JAZZ
Although Marsalis is a jazz ambassador, virtuoso and historian, this double compilation spotlights Marsalis as the composer, rolling together his compositions over the past 25 years. Because of Marsalis' widely varied ensembles over the years, it's hardly seamless: After "Express Crossing" gallops along with twittering piccolos and belching brass, there are lilting orchestral works and some eloquent small group work from 2000's The Marciac Suite. Still, altogether, the collection ably displays Marsalis' expressive gifts as a writer, and it makes an excellent introduction to his compositions.