Title - 'He And She' (Blue Note)
Artist - Wynton Marsalis
'He And She' is yet another solid effort by Wynton Marsalis. The band is energenic and plays at a level beyond their years. Each piece is unique in its style and linked together by pieces of a poem that explores the relationship between 'He and She.'
Punctuated throughout with Wynton's own poetry, the songs have the simple titles of "Sassy", "First Kiss", "Girls" etc leaving the music to fill in the picture. Musically, it's all very beautifully crafted and performed with confidence and skill.
The album ends with the title track, Marsalis finally concluding "A man and a woman is a dangerous thing, a train, a banjo and a chicken wing".
Marsalis's weak point is his preacher's instinct, so there's plenty of spoken material along the lines of "red, red moon, big, big sky, the road, only the road", to represent the supposedly universal underpinnings of male-female courtship.
Do not allow the poem to subtract from the music, I feel the music can easily stand on its own. Try listening to the disc as programmed and on next listening program only the music pieces. This will give a difference experience. This release may not increase Wynton's fan base dramatically but current fans should be very satisfied, as I was. This was recorded in 2007, maybe we can expect another release within 2009. [EH]