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Think of One

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In his early years after leaving Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Wynton Marsalis strode forth with this excellent recording, his second as a leader, done in tandem with brother Branford, also out of Blakey's herd. The combination of the two siblings created quite a buzz in the music community, and this recording, which may stand the test of time as his finest, is one of the more solid mainstream jazz statements from the Young Lions movement of the early '80s. Top to bottom, this music sings, swings, simmers, and cooks with a cool verve that, in retrospect, would turn more overtly intellectual over time. A command of dynamics akin to those of Charles Mingus creates a signature sound, heard clearly in the opener, "Knozz-Moe-King," fueled by supercharged bop; the bold, extroverted, and precise trumpeting of the leader; and Kenny Kirkland's complementary piano comping. It could be the best single track of the entire recording career of Wynton. Ranking close behind is the tick-tock drumming of Jeff Watts, informing the pretty albeit dark musings of the brothers during "Fuchsia," and the sighing horns, samba bass of Phil Bowler, and stop-start modernities of an utterly original "The Bell Ringer." A bouncy treatment of the standard "My Ideal" shows Wynton's singing tone through his horn, a great interpretation of Thelonious Monk's "Think of One" is totally sly and slinky in low-register hues, and triplet phrases that have become a staple of the Marsalis musical identity accent "Later," adapted from a phrase similar to "Surrey with the Fringe on Top." At their unified best, Wynton and Branford shine on the tricky "What Is Happening Here (Now)?," a spillover residual of their time with Blakey. Think of One is a definitive statement for Wynton Marsalis, and though other efforts turned much more elaborate, none have been played better -- with more palpable spark and original ideas -- than this fine studio date. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Knozz-Moe-King
  2. What Is Happening Here (Now) ?
  3. The Bell Ringer
  4. Melancholia


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wounded Bird Records
  • ASIN: B000UZDGHO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Hard to believe now, but 20 years ago most commercially successful jazz could either be classified under trendy funk (anyone remember Herbie Hancock's "Rockit"?), electronic noodlings aimed toward a mass audience (Weather Report, Return to Forever) or MOR/adult contemporary piffle (Spyro Gyra). Coincidentally, it was at that point that I reached back toward the pioneers of the `50s and '60s -- Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and McCoy Tyner. Imagine my delight when a friend of mine told me of an artists who had the same influences -- and not only was he still recording, he was only in his early 20s!
Wynton Marsalis put himself on the map with this, his second album. From the atonal "Knozz-Moe-King" to the lament "Melancholia," Marsalis covers a wide range of styles, yet stays within himself. (Subsequent releases would frequently show even broader ambitions, but occasionally his reach would exceed his grasp.)
This album is the first one to pick up for those interested in hearing how jazz stepped back from the dead end of fusion back toward its roots.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had to chime in here, since I have no idea what the guy who gave this CD a 1 is talking about. I see no reason to worry about what Wynton says with his mouth, rather I listen to the music. I owned this CD for a few years and sold it when I needed money. Now I have money and bought it again. Haven't listened to it in about 8 years and I still love it. I think it has a lot of different textures and varies it's mood yet it stays together coherently. It is presented as a sequence of songs that flow well. I am into Metheny, Davis, Coltrane, Bela Fleck, African music, Latin music, rock, am all over the board really. I have about 100 jazz CDs and this is among the best of them. Some of Marsalis' music gets to New Orleansy for me, but this one isn't as much so.
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Format: Audio CD
Listening to the excerpts of this CD on amazon, I realised I have this album on cassette (some friend taped it for me many years ago). This was a discovery for me in the jazz world, and has been one of my initiation albums to real jazz. The music is excellent, and Wynton plays beautifully. I immediately became a Marsalis fan, and a trumpet lover (I used to prefer the saxophone). You won't be dissapointed by this album. I've listened to many other W. Marsalis albums, and this is surely one of his best...despite his young age. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
My first impression of Wynton Marsalis was that he was talented but more concerned with professionalism than any creativity. But I was wrong - while his playing isn't very original, mostly taking cues from Miles Davis (not that there's anything wrong with that), he does interesting, progressive things with his melodies, much like a more accessible Monk - for instance, "Knozz-Moe-King" has a very idiosyncratic melody which is bolstered by his strong, bebop-influenced playing. Like Miles, he takes home high honors on the ballads ("Fuchsia"; "Melancholia", where he sounds more than a little like Mr. Davis) and also succeeds with energetic post-bop material ("My Ideal"; "What Is Happening Here (Now?)"). The most interesting song, though not the best by any means, is Monk's title tune, where Wynton coaxes some strange effects out of his instrument. His brother Branford Marsalis also makes some memorable contributions on soprano sax - he might even be a better soloist than his brother, and it's a shame he threw the guy out; Kenny Kirkland's piano fills are fantastic as well. All the experimentation goes a step too far on "The Bell Ringer", which is perhaps a bit too weird - other than that, this is a fantastic listen, challenging but worth it.
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