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He And She

4.4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 24, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

As the title to Wynton Marsalis' fifth Blue Note release indicates, He And She is about that eternally compelling and most elemental of subjects: the relationship between a man and a woman. The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, trumpeter, and band leader, however, hasn't merely crafted a love story, but a life story - a bittersweet rumination about the evanescence of life as well as the elusiveness of romance. Time is very much at the heart of He And She: the swift passage of time over the course of one's life, the mood-altering shifts of time within the duration of a song. It's an ambitious effort, combining spoken word and music, and Marsalis has given his quintet some formidable charts.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 24, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: March 24, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Maranatha
  • ASIN: B0016NCZOY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In the mood for some Jazz, and having read great reviews, I decided to get Wynton Marsalis' latest disc, "He and she". It's the first disc by the chap that I have so I won't be doing any comparisons to his previous work.

Apparently a concept album of sorts with its theme the relationship between man and woman. The 22 tracks are interspersed with 10 poems dramatically recited by Marsalis and range in length from 13 seconds (opening "Poem 1") to over 5 minutes ("He and she" which bookends the collection appearing at the end with Marsalis declaring "A man and a woman is a dangerous thing, a train, a banjo and a chicken wing"). I find they do not interrupt the flow of music but rather serve as openings to new chapters or acts in the music.

Musically, what we get is beautiful trumpet playing against tasteful and spacious arrangements, with the tempo depending on the mood. A mix of Blues, Swing, and Jazz. "Schoolboy" is a Ragtime groove, swinging and playful. "The sun and the moon" rather sombre with tinkling piano and Harmon-muted trumpet over a languid groove. "Fears" portrays the feel of its title with ominous sounding plucked bass and screeching cymbals against a spare soundscape. "The razor rim", at over 12 minutes, is Big Band Jazz at its stunning best with Marsalis and his quartet really shining (especially the solo by tenor saxophonist Walter Blanding).

My favourite is the suite of "Firsts"; "First crush", "First slow dance", "First kiss", and the Tango-tinged "First time" (with sax playing that sounds like scat).

I'm sure this is the start of a Marsalis journey for me as I'll be hunting down more stuff by him. I usually prefer my music with (some) lyrics but this has completely won me over. Beautiful music, the stuff dreams are made of.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Marsalis's fifth album for Blue Note and is about the relationship between man and woman.
It's a thematic work expressed in a mixture of spoken word and Jazz.
The trumpeter's latest outing intersperses a dozen fine new compositions with a series of less compelling recitations of his own poem "He and She".
The subject is just as the title suggests, the relationship between the sexes, traced from childhood to maturity: not a love story but a life story of the evanescence of life and the elusiveness of romance.
The music is a mix of jazz, swing and blues and within the parameters of Marsalis' approach, the group experiment widely.
Marsalis leads his quintet from the front in inventive fashion, and receives powerful support from Walter Blanding's tenor and soprano saxes, and a superb rhythm section of Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass) and Ali Jackson (drums).
Punctuated throughout with Wynton's own poetry, the songs have the simple titles of "Sassy", "First Kiss", "Girls" etc leaving the music to fill in the picture.
Musically, it's all very beautifully crafted and performed with confidence and skill.
The album ends with the title track, Marsalis finally concluding "A man and a woman is a dangerous thing, a train, a banjo and a chicken wing".
Marsalis's weak point is his preacher's instinct, so there's plenty of spoken material along the lines of "red, red moon, big, big sky, the road, only the road", to represent the supposedly universal underpinnings of male-female courtship.
Once you get past all that, the trumpet-playing - pure in the upper register, with directness weighed against Miles-like muted ambiguity - is gorgeous.
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Format: Audio CD
Another solid effort by Wynton. The band is energenic and plays at a level beyond their years. Each piece is unique in its style and linked together by pieces of a poem that explores the relationship between "He and She". Do not allow the poem to subtract from the music, I feel the music can easily stand on its own. Try listening to the disc as programmed and on next listening program only the music pieces. This will give a difference experience. This release may not increase Wynton's fan base dramatically but current fans should be very satisfied, as I was. This was recorded in 2007, maybe we can expect another release within 2009.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wynton Marsalis is truly a treasure to all of us who help make up the world of music, a virtual jazz encyclopedia who has mastered every form & style you can think of in the history of this sweet American invention(the only exception to this being late 60's/early 70's "jazz-rock fusion").

This new album is the latest of many masterpieces that Wynton Marsalis has released for us to enjoy. Time flies when you're having fun, and the generous 75+ minutes of music here went lickety-split for me. The album is filled with many different styles of jazz, interspersed with brief spoken word tracks that make for a very well thought out, interesting and sometimes quite humorous story. However, this is nearly all music. I must say that in addition to Wynton's virtuoso trumpet playing, the band playing with him on "He And She" is STELLAR!! Walter Blanding on saxophone plays in outstanding fashion, sometimes cool and other times blisteringly hot(with Wynton matching him at every turn). Plus, this rhythm section is truly outstanding: Drummer Ali Jackson & bassist Carlos Henriquez at times steal the whole show, and pianist Dan Nimmer does a great job throughout. I bet these three guys could record some great music as a trio if they were so inclined.

Put it all together and you have here a jazz masterpiece, full of beautifully brilliant tunes and tied together with a good story/theme. I highly recommend this album to longtime fans and also as a great first time listen to Wynton Marsalis & his band.

Put on your headphones, crank up the volume & enjoy this great sounding album :-)
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