The two-disc anthology The Music of America compiles tracks from trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' various recordings for Sony/Columbia with a particular focus on his work as a composer. Included are cuts from as far back as 1988's The Majesty of the Blues, all the way through 1992's Citi Movement, 1993's In This House on This Morning, 1997's Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood on the Fields, and 2002's All Rise. While there are some small group septet sessions here, as with the soulful, spiritual-inflected "Sunflowers" off 1999's Marciac Suite, most of the cuts featured are large ensemble pieces written for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra that showcase Marsalis' talent for composing and arranging layered, bluesy, and swinging material. An oft-touted trumpet virtuoso (a talent on display throughout these recordings), Marsalis is an equally gifted composer who mixes straight-ahead jazz, New Orleans jazz, classical music, African-American church music, and even Latin and European traditions into his work. This urbane and worldly approach, born out of his Southern upbringing and a history student's keen eye for cultural connectivism, as well as a reflective interest in such themes as love and loss, the human condition, industrialization, and the uniquely American theme of slavery, makes The Music of America a heady and fruitful listening experience.