I wasn’t fond of Wynton’s first "with strings" session (Hot House Flowers, 1984) and I’m not overly enthusiastic over this second attempt either. Once again, Robert Freedman’s string arrangements add a hefty dose of sugar coating to a collection of very well known ballads. Marsalis is a masterful technician and his playing, as always, is clean, precise and faultless. Unfortunately, I also found it cold and passionless. As good as he is, his trumpet work lacks soul and fails to generate any real heat on this outing. The fine trio of Eric Reed (piano), Reginald Veal (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums) play a rather subservient role and their immense improvisational talents are never fully utilized. Tiresome, yet finely crafted, late-night mood music. Will sell like hot-cakes!
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.