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Wynton Marsalis: Majesty of the Blues (Columbia) ***½

Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, 13 July 1989

NONE OTHER than Miles Davis himself pronounced trumpeter Wynton Marsalis a "perfect player," but that may have been damning with faint praise — there was little grit in Marsalis' playing before this remarkable record. His first post-Reagan-era album finds Marsalis dropping the air of formality epitomized by 1987's Marsalis Standard Time, a genteel take on a dozen jazz standards. While the music gets back to some serious New Orleans roots — even further back than Marsalis' conservative hard-bop revisionism did — Majesty of the Blues is an artistic quantum leap forward.

Total word count of piece: 381


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