10. Wynton Marsalis: Hot House Flowers (Columbia, 1984)
The obvious antecedent for Hot House Flowers is Clifford Brown with Strings, although Wynton Marsalis scales back the strings considerably from Hefti’s florid arrangements (“the maudlin menaces of the human heart,” per Stanley Crouch’s liner notes). In that sense, it’s more connected to Winter Moon: It leaves more room for cookin’ interaction with Marsalis’ working rhythm section (featuring pianist Kenny Kirkland and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, with Ron Carter sitting in on the bass chair). His tenor-sax brother Branford makes comments as well. The textures are at their best when they simply fill out key passages, as on “Django” and Marsalis’ title track. Even so, their billowy appearance on “For All We Know” is the most elaborate that the orchestra gets; Hot House Flowers is a jazz-with-strings document that is best distinguished by its taste.