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Blue Note Releases New Wynton CD in March

Lucky us, we recently received an advance copy of the upcoming album by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, his first album since being dropped from the Columbia Records artists roster and signing with Blue Note. Titled The Magic Hour, the album comes out March 9, 2004 and it’s not the “Wynton Marsalis featuring Al Green, Norah Jones and Van Morrison” album you might expect from today’s Blue Note.

How could you expect that from Marsalis anyway? He’s 100 percent jazz (except for when he’s playing classical music…zing!). The Magic Hour‘s first track, “Feeling of Jazz,” is a slow-moving blues with special guest vocalist Dianne Reeves, who sings to us that “jazz lifts my soul with a soooouauauaananaaaa…” Frankly, I’m not sure what the words are, but the song is all about how Reeves wants to hear some jazz. She gets into some down and dirty call-and-response action with Marsalis’ horn before the album moves on to celebrating jazz a bit less literally.

All of The Magic Hour‘s eight tracks are new Marsalis originals that explore what Marsalis calls “the four basic attitudes of jazz: 4/4 swing, Afro-Hispanic rhythm, blues and the ballad.” The band is a quartet comprised of Marsalis, pianist Eric Lewis, bassist Carlos Henriquez and drummer Ali Jackson. In addition to Reeves, Bobby McFerrin makes a guest appearance, singing on a track called “Baby, I Love You.” It’s possible that the baby in question is in fact jazz, but the lyrics remain open to interpretation.

Of the title, Marsalis says that real life’s Magic Hour is “for kids, the one hour before they go to bed. For parents, the one hour after the kids go to sleep.” Hey, when Marsalis isn’t busy telling us what is and isn’t jazz, he’s kinda witty and charming!

Originally Published