Wynton Marsalis

Uptown Ruler: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 2

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The second of the three-part Soul Gestures in Southern Blue finds Wynton Marsalis at a transitional spot in his career. While his pianist Marcus Roberts had largely found his own style, the trumpeter was still searching and had not yet thrown off the dominant Miles Davis influence. This quintet outing (which also features the tenor of Todd Williams, bassist Reginald Veal, and drummer Herlin Riley) lacks any memorable melodies, although the playing is fine. But overall, the music is much more forgettable than Stanley Crouch's rather incredible liner notes. This CD can be safely passed by in favor of Marsalis' more recent projects.

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