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From The Plantation To The Penitentiary

Wynton MarsalisAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Price: $16.45 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2007 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2007 $16.45  

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. From The Plantation To The Penitentiary11:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Find Me 9:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Doin' (Y)Our Thing 8:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Love And Broken Hearts 7:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Supercapitalism 6:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. These Are Those Soulful Days 8:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Where Y'All At 5:47$1.29  Buy MP3 

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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

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Frequently Bought Together

From The Plantation To The Penitentiary + Live at the House of Tribes
Price for both: $32.95

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,360 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

"We running all over the world with a blunderbuss/And the Constitution all but forgot in the fuss," Wynton Marsalis declaims on "Where Y'All At?"--the raucous theatrical finale to From the Plantation to the Penitentiary. As unusual as it may be for the celebrated trumpeter to present himself as a kind of soap box rapper, underwhelmingly taking aim at "supercapitalists," liberals, and rappers alike, the most notable departure here is his prominent feature of a vocalist, young Jennifer Sanon. A winner of the Essentially Ellington high school competition, she has real appeal and is smart, silky-toned, and calmly assured beyond her 21 years. The influence of the mighty Abbey Lincoln is felt in both the directness of her delivery and the soulful expansiveness of the music, performed by a quintet. Though Marsalis gets his time in the spotlight, playing with brittle strength as well as his customary warmth, he is generous in shining a spotlight on his bandmates, including a pair of talented up-and-comers in pianist Dan Nimmer and bassist Carlos Henriquez, drummer Ali Jackson, Jr. and saxophonist Walter Blanding, who, 15 years after being introduced on the "Tough Young Tenors" album and in spite of his stellar contributions to Marsalis' Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, doesn't get the attention he should. --Lloyd Sachs

Product Description

By turns soothing, urgent, playful, and angry, From the Plantation to the Penitentiary distills Marsalis' recent observations on our modern American way of life as he's traveled the nation as a performer, teacher, and private citizen. Through the sultry alto of 21-year old singer Jennifer Sanon, he gives voice to the tattered ragmen of America in Find Me, rebukes our misogynistic entertainment industry I ain't no bitch and I ain't your ho in The Return of Romance, and denounces the uncontrolled financial exploitation of modern America in which there's never enough in the frantic Super Capitalism. The most striking track on the album is Where Y'a At?, a rare spoken-word vocal performance by Marsalis, in which he demands to know what's happened to all the responsible leaders in America.The album has its bright moments as well: the languid These Are Those Soulful Days was inspired by the friendship between his 10-year old son and Walter Blanding's 11-year old twin daughters that the three have maintained almost since birth, while the bouncy and soulful instrumental Doin' Our Thing lets Marsalis and his band interpret various types of 4/4 grooves anchored, of course, by the swing.The seven tracks on the album are all new compositions, with lyrics and music by Wynton Marsalis, four of which feature vocalist Jennifer Sanon. Walter Blanding (reeds), Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass), and Ali Jackson (drums) round out the quintet.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging. March 9, 2007
By Jimmy.M
Format:Audio CD
Wynton Marsalis has never shied away from tackling controversial subjects in his music, but this latest outing may well qualify as his most outspoken and politicised attack on American social division and hypocrisy so far. As the title implies, he takes a withering look at a subject he has broached in depth before, the troubled and violent history of African-Americans, but with a lot more besides.

The excesses of rampant capitalism, the brazen exploitation of the entertainment industry, and the moral and political failings in the nation's leadership (expressed in, of all things for this notorious jazz purist, a spoken rap entitled "Where Y'all At?") all come under intense scrutiny. Four of the album's seven tracks feature his latest protégé, singer Jennifer Sanon, and the trumpeter is supported instrumentally by saxophonist Walter Blanding and a slick rhythm section that sails through the ever-changing rhythm patterns of the music, all carefully specified in the insert notes.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tight band & stunning voice. March 7, 2007
By Pete C.
Format:Audio CD
I'm not one for Jazz with vocals. This is simply amazing. The key here is the moving lyrics along with the sultry voice. It just matches like bread and butter. Jennifer Sanon is AMAZING.

Now onto the supporting cast. I don't know who Wyntons mates are on this release, but they sure know how to groove and swing and play really smooth ballads. The playing and soloing is stellar. This is just an incredible 60 minutes of musical pleasure. It runs the gammut from anger to hope, from vindication to awareness. Musically it goes back and forth and ends with Wyntons "rap", which I really dug and felt that it ended this performance on a stern, but thoughtful note.

All in all, if you want to hear a truly fine piece of work, this is definitely for you. This is a great way to spend an hour. Put the headphones on enjoy the funky acoustic bass, the very tight drumming, the beautiful voice and the trumpet and sax collage. It's just STELLAR. 5 bright glowing stars. Hats off to Wynton Marsalis.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the plantation to the penthouse March 13, 2007
Format:Audio CD
First, this album is satisfying musically. I enjoy every composition, and my enjoyment is growing. Second, this collection makes a significant political statement that is well worth hearing. Though I haven't stayed abreast of the arguments, I know that Wynton Marsalis has his critics. I am just taking what he's saying on this album -- musically and otherwise -- and judging it on its own merits. Hence, five stars. He attacks much of contemporary American culture, from the political establishment to the hip hop culture, and does so incisively. The album just might turn out to be an important influence for the good, that is, that some people will turn from the objects of his well-deserved scorn and embrace some of the better alternatives that he offers (for example, see "Love and Broken Hearts"). But, of course, it's going to take a whole lot more than one album for us to cast off the all-too-abundant banality and ugliness. Still, here's an effort for the side of truth, goodness, and beauty from an artist who sees much from that high vantage point.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. March 8, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Like a previous reviewer I'm generally not one for vocal jazz, but this is unlike any that I've ever heard. I simply can't imagine a better voice (or lyrics). I generally have a hard time with the amount of vocals on jazz albums - in my opinion there always seems to be much or they try to be too powerful, but this is perfect. There's not a verse that doesn't fit in exactly where it should. The vocals compliment the music and vice versa, just as they should. The music itself is very tight and dripping with mood. This is a truly excellent album. I'll be on the lookout for more by Jennifer Sanon, and I'm already looking forward to what Wynton treats us to next.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality March 12, 2007
Format:Audio CD
A classic jazz master piece. The research and historical references are outstanding.The original music says it all. The more you listen the more meaning to the messages. Applicable as well to students of history and those wanting a better understanding to our present world situation. Certifies that music can be relevant and futuristic. Wynton adds to jazz being America's classical music.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made You Think April 2, 2007
Format:Audio CD
The music was wonderful. The album would have been a hit even for the music. But the lyrics stole the day; they made you think. Another reviewer called Mr. Marsalis a racist and complained that he layed all of societies woes on "white Americans": I believe he must have listened to another album. Mr. Marsalis boldly and compassionately calls upon the black community to address many of their own woes from the misogyny of rap music to the indifference of the black middle class. That he also calls "white Americans" to task is appropriate, as we are ALL responsible for the mess we have allow OUR country to descend, and the predominantly white upper class hegemony continues on blissfully deconstructing democracy and our common brotherhood for their own comfort and gain. Further, many of the issues tackled by this album transcend race, not touching on it at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plantation to the penitentiary July 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD
i love the harmonies, the way the music dances and the conversaitons of voice and instruments,good drum work.The music talks.
i love it.

milton clarke
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of all time
Easily one of the most insightful, penetrating, haunting and affecting albums of all time. Any one track would be a classic, but together they pack an emotional weight I rarely... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sparius
4.0 out of 5 stars jazz
A new jazz master of trumpet, carrying on the sounds of past masters, with a sense of history. Wynton and band do it.
Published 8 months ago by Denver B. Cornett
5.0 out of 5 stars Wynton At Last Comes Into Himself
First off its important to note that my opinion of Wynton Marsalis is shared by a number of people: over educated,over confident and at times more than a little bourgeois. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Andre S. Grindle
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music, terrible lyrics
I remember seeing a review in Downbeat magazine where I believe this album received one star...I'd never seen such a low rating and it being one of the jazz greats I had to check... Read more
Published on February 15, 2011 by Torrey Kemp
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a few listen to get use to but I ended up loving it!
It took me a few time to get use to the style (different to his previous album The Magic Hour), then I was really hooked. Loved that girl's singing, so pure and refreshing!
Published on June 8, 2010 by Yio-Ming Liu
Mr. Marsalis brings listeners a message to the world of music with a Jazz flavor. I will discuss two aspects of this CD; (A) the musical portion and (B) the vocals. Read more
Published on May 18, 2010 by Justice For Humanity
4.0 out of 5 stars best little known or promoted Wynton piece
Some time ago i heard a brief piece about this on NPR then is fell off the radar of promoted music to my knowledge. Read more
Published on November 11, 2009 by kayloha
1.0 out of 5 stars Not One Of His Best
Wynton Marsalis is a monster trumpeter, no doubt about that, but "From The Plantation To The Penitentiary" is probably one of the worst albums I've heard from him. Read more
Published on January 31, 2008 by Transfigured Knight
4.0 out of 5 stars Through the Looking Glass
For the past decades Wynton Marsalis has truly been the keeper of the flame, almost single handedly keeping all classic Jazz forms alive. Read more
Published on September 28, 2007 by Soulboogiealex
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful
If you want masterful jazz that uses the spoken word to give voice to tough social commentary, then this album is for you. Marsalis is a border-crosser. Read more
Published on June 16, 2007 by davichon
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