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|Wynton Marsalis||Primary Artist, Trumpet|
|Harry Connick Jr.||Piano|
|Dr. Michael White||Clarinet|
|Wessell Anderson||Alto Saxophone|
|Victor Goines||Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone|
|Wycliffe Gordon||Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba|
|Don Vappie||Banjo, Guitar|
Posted April 2, 2013
Jelly Roll Morton was jazz music's first great composer, arranger and very nearly lived up to his claim--that he "invented" jazz. Certainly Morton was one of the first musicians to transform ragtime into jazz and the first to notate the New Orleans polyphony. However, his contributions to the music were very nearly overshadowed by his reputation and slander from critics who should have known better. Even today the jazz "intelligentsia" writes Morton off as a clucking has-been of a pimp who wrote a few interesting tunes. There has been a resurgence in Morton's popularity recently due to several books and critical studies that have set the record straight and done much to repair his reputation.
That's why this CD by Marsalis is so important, and may be one of his best. Marsalis treats the music as a living testimony to the greatness of Morton, and his band performs the compositions with joy, roughness and the dirty sense of the gutbucket that Marsalis describes as the "poetic attitude towards the carnal"--which enlivens the best of New Orleans jazz.
Morton would have been proud. Five stars.