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Live at Blues Alley Live

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

A trumpet playing blues musician recording an album in New Orleans. Two disc set containing 16 tracks. Columbia Records. 1988.
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
1
30
6:03
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2
30
8:21
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3
30
3:52
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4
30
7:33
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5
30
2:50
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6
30
9:20
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7
30
15:11
Album Only
8
30
2:56
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Disc 2
1
30
14:36
Album Only
2
30
2:37
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3
30
11:30
Album Only
4
30
3:15
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5
30
9:41
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6
30
3:48
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7
30
9:40
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8
30
6:15
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000026AH
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,907 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By A Customer on November 15, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I purchased this album while I was a music performance major several years ago on cassette, played out that tape, and had to buy it on CD. The musicians assembled on this album are all-stars on their individual instruments, but this combo is now long gone. Shortly after this recording, Wynton's musical style changed significantly, and they went their separate ways. The level of sophistication on this album is nearly infinite. I've listened to each of these tracks more than 30 times, and everytime, find something more to appreciate. Marcus Roberts' solo on "Juan" (track 4) is one of the best live improvised piano solos ever. His dark harmonies, and boundless patience "unwinding" this improvised masterpiece, make it absolutely electric. This album is (in my opinion) the best recording ever released by any of Wynton's bands. It's a shame that he didn't pursue this musical avenue further, although his brother later did, with Jeff Watts, Robert Hurst, and Kenny Kirkland.
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Format: Audio CD
This review will NOT discuss: 1) whether Wynton is the natural successor to Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, or anybody, and 2) any statements made by Mr. Marsalis or his bandmates regarding politics and/or jazz music in general since this recording was made.

This album, recorded in December 1986, was released 2 years later and mostly ignored. By the age of 25, Wynton had conquered both the classical world and the PBS crowd, and had played with almost everybody. He was recording a group of standards albums for Columbia when someone decided it was time for a double live set. The only problem was, double live sets weren't selling anymore, even though jazz was experiencing a 15-minute window where it became an acceptable yuppie diversion. Since this time, Wynton has almost never performed in the quartet format, preferring much larger ensembles. Consider this album to be a time capsule - if you can set aside the Marsalis baggage, and love the trumpet or jazz in general, you will be greatly rewarded.

Even though fanatical devotees will sneer he has left these performances in the dust, this concert is a virtual encyclopedia of Wynton's style. Listen to 1000-notes-a-minute in the opening "Knozz-Moe-King", his use of mutes on "Just Friends" and "Cherokee", his subtle shift from fluid to shrill in "Chambers of Tain", and his long opening solo in Charlie Parker's "Au Privave". At the time of this recording, no one else in jazz was playing like this. You cannot discuss jazz trumpet in the late-1980s without mentioning Wynton, and these performances show why. It's easy to want to compare pianist Marcus Roberts with Hancock/Monk/Tyner/Jarrett et al, but the man absolutely has his own impeccable style.
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By Bardolph on August 19, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This album is a M*F*. Same band and similar style to Standard Time, Vol. 1 (one of my favorite albums). For some reason I never got it on CD, but I listened to it many times on two tapes a friend made for me years ago (when I had a working cassette deck!) I was surprised to see in the other reviews that it wasn't very popular. I know Wynton's done a lot of stuff since then, but for me this was his most exciting period and band.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wrote the review above, and this disk came up again in a conversation a few weeks ago with tenor saxophonist Brice Winston. Brice and I were in the McDonald's Jazz Band in the summer of 1988, and hadn't seen each other until a concert that I attended at Blues Alley (live near DC now) where Brice was with Terrance Blanchard. After the set, we talked about how both of us had purchased this album since our tour with the McBand, and both of us had worn it completely out on cassette. A common experience for those who are into instrumental jazz that is heavy on improvisation and close musical communication between the musicians. With so many albums these days "studioized," its great to hear improvization rule the roost with some of todays brightest musicians, just as it did on this two CD live set.
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