JJ 04/94: Wynton Marsalis – Wynton Marsalis

Thirty years ago Simon Adams enjoyed re-hearing the young trumpeter at a stage before he became entangled in retrospection. First published in Jazz Journal April 1984


The ostensible reason for review­ing this long-available CD is that it is now available at mid-price. But anyone in the least interested in the modern jazz should long ago have forked out the full price, for this is a debut album to beat all debuts.

Marsalis, aged 21, accompa­nied in part by the supreme Miles rhythm section of the sixties, takes risks in an almost profligate way. Whether sparring in virtu­oso fashion with brother Branford on Father Time and Hesitation, or declaiming majesti­cally on Tony Williams’s sumptu­ous Sister Cheryl, Marsalis never misses a trick.

Later Marsalis albums have appeared too reverential of tradi­tion, too in awe of past history, but this set sparkles with the dis­covery of the new. If you have no other Marsalis album in your col­lection, treat yourself to this one.

(1) Father Time; I’ll Be There When The Time Is Right; (3) RJ; (4) Hesitation; (3) Sister Cheryl; (5) Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me); (2) Twilight (41.10)
Wynton Marsalis (t); Branford Marsalis (ts); plus on:
(1) Kenny Kirkland (p); Clarence Seay (b); Jeff Watts (d).
(2) as (1) Charles Famborough replaces Seay.
(3) Herbie Hancock (p); Ron Carter (b); Tony Williams (d).
(4) as (3) but Hancock out.
(5) as (3) but Branford Marsalis out.
Recorded (1 & 2) New York, (3, 4 & 5) Tokyo, 1982.
(Columbia 468708 2)