Prime Music

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
$4.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Sold by ExpressMedia.

Sell Us Your Item
For up to a $0.30 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Media Supplies Outlet Add to Cart
$15.39  & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Black Codes

Wynton MarsalisAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Price: $15.08 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock.
Sold by Big_Box_Bargains and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, Oct. 27? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 1985 $6.93  
Audio CD, 1990 $15.08  
Vinyl, 2014 $27.81  
Audio Cassette $8.88  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Black Codes (Album Version) 9:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. For Wee Folks (Album Version) 9:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Delfeayo's Dilemma (Album Version) 6:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Phryzzinian Man (Album Version) 6:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Aural Oasis (Album Version) 5:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Chambers Of Tain (Album Version) 7:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Blues (Album Version) 5:21$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Wynton Marsalis Store


Image of album by Wynton Marsalis


Image of Wynton Marsalis


Here We Go Again - Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles


Musician | Educator | Band leader | Composer | Author | Ambassador

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1961, Wynton Marsalis received his first trumpet at the age of six, a gift from the legendary Al Hirt. Fostered by his community and family, Wynton began to perform in local bands. At the age of 17, he was accepted into The Juilliard School in New York City and soon thereafter ... Read more in Amazon's Wynton Marsalis Store

Visit Amazon's Wynton Marsalis Store
for 172 albums, 7 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Black Codes + Maiden Voyage
Price for both: $24.87

Buy the selected items together
  • Maiden Voyage $9.79

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002640
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,589 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Wynton Marsalis ~ Black Codes

Much has been made of Wynton Marsalis's early-career emulation of the prefusion Miles Davis quintet, an obvious homage that only the most blinkered apologists have refused to ackowledge. Marsalis has accomplished so much on his own that the out-and-out tribute to the classic Davis lineup that "Black Codes..." represents should be seen as a positive step in the remarkable development of an artist rather than an act of fraud. This is sublime music by the first Marsalis quintet, led by Wynton on trumpet and featuring brother Branford on soprano and tenor sax, Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums, Charnett Moffet on bass and Kenny Kirkland on piano. All of these musicians would go on to greater heights, but they're in the zone here. --John Swenson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wynton's most important single album set July 27, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Wynton Marsalis is so heavily documented and so heavily opinionated these days that it's difficult to assess his work fairly. For everyone who thinks he single-handedly saved acoustic jazz in the 80s, another will say he is killing its creativity and radical spirit in the 2000s. Certainly I've wavered on this issue over time. Whatever your opinion on Wynton, Black Codes is the strongest of his early albums, before he took to preserving the jazz tradition. More than any of the other albums Black Codes strives to advance it.

The band on here is great. This was before Branford left to join Sting and the heads to the tunes are tight. Jeff Watts is a phenomenal drummer and Wynton shares the spotlight by using "Chambers of Tain" as a drum feature. Kenny Kirkland drives many of the vamps on this album and comps assertively and the bass player strongly anchors these tunes as well.

This album plays well start to finish and has some of Wynton's strongest writing. "Black Codes" with its low end piano as part of the head, "For Wee Folks" with its out of tempo opening and "Delfeayo's Dilemma", a tune that has been covered by artists like Kenny Garrett, are highlights in the set. Wynton nods to the tradiiton by concluding with a blues as well.

The innovations on this album are subtle. It's more a summary of two splendid jazz ensembles: the tight ensembles of the Jazz Messengers that Branford and Wynton played with early in their careers and the thorny modal improvisations of the Miles Davis Quintet. Some people focus only on Miles when assessing this album, but if you listen to Jazz Messengers albums like Mosaic and Free For All you hear how the discipline of this music and the vigor of Tain's playing are more assertive than the cool effortlessness of Miles' group.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Original December 9, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I bought this album on vinyl when it first came out, then bought the CD and have been listening to it regularly for 15 years. It is the finest recording Wynton has ever done and this music will stand the test of time. I am a piano fan and Kenny Kirkland's playing on this session is phenomenal. Everyone is in fine form and the music is original, the playing is fresh and passionate. Every track is great listening. This is a CD to play over and over and enjoy over and over again. I agree with the rest of the reviewers about the critic's -- most of these "critics" don't know much about jazz and to compare this group with Miles Davis is a joke -- this is original music and it stands on it's own quite nicely!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a newbie it is incredible November 18, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is my first real jazz album. I'm listening to it right now and Tain is tearing it up and Marsalis is on fire. I don't think I know enough about the genre to be critical, but what I can tell you is this Album can bring you to tears. It gets you right in the gut and makes your heart beat and it tears into you. Almost a religious experience. I'm hooked. Favorite track: Chambers of Tain
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars solid! May 21, 2000
Format:Audio CD
There's something funny about this album. Well, not the album, per se, but the critical reception of said album. Ever notice how whenever cats talk about this album or review it, they always name-drop Miles second quintet? (the one with Shorter, Hancock, Tony Williams, and Ron Carter) I've got a question for y'all: WHY? aside from a few ostensible similarities to the Davis quintet, how is this music like the stuff Miles was doing back in the pre-fusion 60s? I mean, if you're gonna compare these groups, back it up with something! I'm not saying there aren't some similarities, but cats who review Black Codes *always* name-drop Miles' quintet without ever digging into the music. That said, this is a superb recording--probably my favorite in Wynton's discography. The rhythm section is sickeneningly tight, and the two Marsalises play beautifully. I like most of Wynton's stuff, but this might just be one of the best jazz recordings of the 80s...heck, the 90s too. If you don't have this, then RUN (don't walk) to your nearest record store and pick it up.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oh lord January 4, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
First off, comparing this album to Miles is absurd; it would be like comparing Monet to Fleming; both geniuses, but 2 different time frames, eras, periods and concepts.
Black Codes is pure modern jazz energy at its most urban, refined, freshest, sophisticated and complex; it IS a seminal album because it provides the natural evolution and continuation of a hard bop movement that seemed to be floundering a bit in the late 70's, always seeming to have to fight the mediocre commercialism and superficialness that was plauging not only the music scene, but American culture then, and still today.
Dark, moody, hip, furious, dissonant, deep---very deep, ahhh, there simply aint' enough adjectives. But if words are meaningless, then how about one sustained goose bump of pure reverie and jazz joy when digging this album?
What is especially astounding are the virtuoso performances of an absolutely sick, monstrous rhythm section, and the horn and saxophone blowing which is a reflection of the best of improvisational recording during the last fifty years. I agree with the reviewer: don't walk, run and get it. It belongs next to Miles, Clifford, Coltrane and Bird, but put this one last (or latest) in the line-up.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wynton Marsalis at his best.
Wynton Marsalis' Black Codes is absolutely stunning — excepting his later album, 'Baroque Music for Trumpets', Black Codes persists as one of his finest works. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Andrew Keith
5.0 out of 5 stars A great jazz classic for a newer age.
This record sits atop the list of best jazz albums of all time for a reason. In my opinion my favorite album alongside Wynton's J Mood. Read more
Published 4 months ago by w
5.0 out of 5 stars Some call this his "Miles" phase
I'm not a jazz critic so please see online reviews of this album to read from professionals how important and wonderful this album is.
Published 15 months ago by Fred the Saw
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG how did I miss this?
I have most of Wynton's, Branford's, and Jeff Watts' solo records, but I did not have this one. Well, I do now, and HOLY COW it is AMAZING! Read more
Published 20 months ago by Not A. Rockstar
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
What a great album. Wynton is at his best in this one, really a great cd. Quality Jazz to relax with.
Published 22 months ago by Patrick Khaile
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD!!!
Wynton and the band kill on this one. Jeff "Tain" Watts plays his butt off. To me it's like modern Ellingtonia!
Published on February 14, 2012 by Fred
5.0 out of 5 stars Neo-bop for me
I am listening to different types of music, because I upgraded my stereo system. Once I could really hear the vocals and instruments, I realized I didn't want to listen to poor... Read more
Published on September 22, 2011 by E
4.0 out of 5 stars Simmering session
A particular spice injected into this early and heavily cited Marsalis disc sets it even above and beyond so many patently impressive efforts. Read more
Published on October 23, 2008 by IRate
3.0 out of 5 stars Found the pickle and onion. Where's the beef?
Wynton Marsalis is one of those guys I've heard of and known about for years, and he's been gradually creeping farther into the limelight helped by full page ads in the Wall Street... Read more
Published on May 30, 2008 by Eric C. Sedensky
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget Everything Negative You've Heard About Wynton And Pick This...
"Black Codes (From The Underground)" was released by Columbia Records in 1987. It marks a departure for Marsalis, yet it is also something he hasn't done before or since. Read more
Published on February 16, 2008 by Transfigured Knight
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Look for Similar Items by Category

Big_Box_Bargains Privacy Statement Big_Box_Bargains Shipping Information Big_Box_Bargains Returns & Exchanges