Over the last several weeks, I’ve been listening to more and more jazz music on a daily basis. I think seeing Wynton Marsalis in an iTunes commercial reminded me of how cool jazz music really is. I’m not saying that I haven’t been listening to jazz, but it has taken a back seat to rock and blues music in my daily listening.
I wanted to take some time to comment on a couple new albums I’ve been in to lately. The first is Wynton’s new live album, Amongst the People: Live at the House of Tribes. The album contains six songs, and all but two are over ten minutes long. All of the musicians stretch out and play some great solos. For me, this album ranks up there with some of the best live albums that I’ve had the privilege to hear like Wynton’s Live at Blues Alley, Cannonball Adderley’s In San Francisco, Art Blakey’s Ugetsu, and Duke Ellington’s At Newport. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, I would definitely recommend giving Amongst the People a listen.
The other album I’ve been listening to a lot lately isn’t really an album at all. It’s a three-song session Wynton did for iTunes. I have a feeling Wynton went into the studio with these three songs for the commercial, and they ended up picking Sparks. All three songs are brief by normal jazz standards which should make them more accessible to the masses. They’re also fun to listen to because they have a certain level of humor and attitude. I hope to hear more of Wynton in a quartet setting in the future if this is the kind of result we can expect.
Well, I need to get back to listening.