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Album Review

Here, Wynton Marsalis switches to cornet and tries to recreate the ambience of the proverbial village wind bands of long ago — albeit with the emphatically big-league help of Donald Hunsberger and the massive Eastman Wind Ensemble. This means a program of transcriptions of classical tunes, variations on popular ditties, dollops of sentimentality, heaping amounts of showoff display figurations, and other stuff that used to go over big in Middle America in the days before radio and electrical recording came in. From the hoary old hurdy-gurdy tune "The Carnival of Venice" that leads off the album onward, this is a record for dedicated antiquarians who dote on their Edison band cylinders because they like the music. But Marsalis works earnestly with the idea, playing those insidiously hummable tunes absolutely straight, with acres of flawless rapid-fire technical displays and even a touch of soulfulness on the token spiritual, "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." And Marsalis' pass through the nonstop minefield of Paganini's Moto Perpetuoz, using circular breathing to make the dumbfounded listener think that he doesn't have to take a breath, is a pretty astounding technical feat. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Absolutly Incredible

This is probably one the most impressive cds I have ever heard! I listen to this cd quite a lot and everytime I'm still impressed. Every piece on this album is totally original and is a perfect mix and makes it a no-brainer to buy it. I highly recommend it for trumpet enthusiast and just about anyone else!


Wynton Marsalis calls Clark Terry his "Musical Daddy" and Clark calls Wynton "Demon" because of his technical wizardry. This is the first CD I ever listened to when CD's came out in the 80's and Wyntons technique still amazes me today. I guess that's what you sound like with six hours of practice every day from the age of twelve to eighteen. Wynton is certainly one of the most technically amazing trumpet virtuosos of all time. HL Clark would be proud.


I have always been a fan of Wynton Marsalis, but I hadn't listened to his classical works until recently. One of my fellow trumpet players was playing Grand Russian Fantasia, and I asked him what it was. He told me about this recording and I decided it would be worth listening to. I am glad I decided to. Every track is amazing in it's own way. Most of them are so technical I have no idea what is going on, but it's still nice to listen to. Great album, it's worth your money.


Born: October 18, 1961 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most famous jazz musician since 1980, Wynton Marsalis had a major impact on jazz almost from the start. In the early '80s, it was major news that a young and very talented black musician would choose to make a living playing acoustic jazz rather than fusion, funk, or R&B. Marsalis' arrival on the scene started the "Young Lions" movement and resulted in major labels (most of whom had shown no interest in jazz during the previous decade) suddenly signing and promoting young players. There had been...
Full Bio

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