Picks and Pans Review: Standard Time Vol. 3: the Resolution of Romance
Among the multilayered pleasures of this album is a wildly successful young jazz musician's passionate tribute to the people and the music that came before him.
That idea comes across clearly in Marsalis's third standards-based album because he plays most of its 20 tracks as duets, or de facto duets, with his pianist father, Ellis.
Ellis does "A Sleepin' Bee" and "It's Too Late Now" on his own, and Wynton works out a deliberate "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" without Dad. Most of the time, though, father and son approach songs together, reconsidering such standbys as "The Very Thought of You," "Everything Happens to Me" and "My Romance."
They do the reconsidering in gentle, exact ways, supporting Wynton's liner notes comment: "When you are playing soft, there are an infinite number of subtleties that you can discover the same way you do when any activity is approached softly and slowly."
If the album at limes takes on a testimonial quality, it's not unattractive, as the Marsalises' love for what they do seems consistent with another of Wynton's comments in the notes (written by Stanley Crouch): "There is so much music out there to deal with that you sometimes can't believe it. It doesn't matter what instrument you play either. There are so many forms and so many styles and colors to come to terms with. The demands are almost intimidating. But if you humble yourself before all of that music, things will slowly come together." (Columbia)