Review: Wynton Marsalis’ “He and She”

As the title to Wynton Marsalis‘ fifth Blue Note release indicates, He And She is about that eternally compelling and most elemental of subjects, the relationship between a man and a woman. The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, trumpeter and band leader, however, hasn’t merely crafted a love story, but a life story – a bittersweet rumination about the evanescence of life as well as the elusiveness of romance.

Time is very much at the heart of He and She: the swift passage of time over the course of one’s life, the mood-altering shifts of time in the duration of a song. It’s an ambitious effort, combining spoken word and music, and Marsalis has given his quintet some formidable charts. The album is tempered with flashes of humor and plenty of swing. There’s ease and elegance and more than a little wisdom in these grooves.

The new album draws its greatest power from telling a familiar story in such a compelling and richly entertaining manner, a uniue variation on a theme that everyone, in some way, knows. Listening at the album track by track, or as one large work, one can detect the sound of all our love stories and experiences.

Artist: Wynton Marsalis
Album: He and She
Label: Blue Note
Release Date: March 24th, 2009

- Artist information at
- Listening samples at On Target Media Group.

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