Picks and Pans Review: The Midnight Blues
This is one long, slow kiss of a jazz album. From the bittersweet opening phrase of "The Party's Over" through a dozen romantic ballads, 36-year-old trumpet master Wynton Marsalis tenderly carries the torch. The Midnight Blues isn't about raunchy conquest or saccharine fantasy but late-night, grown-up, wish-we-were-closer yearnings: It's a soundtrack for a party of two.
There is little musical adventure here, and the stringed accompaniment, while tasteful, may alarm some purists. But Marsalis's lyricism shines throughout. Though he mostly restrains his famed virtuosity, it also takes real technique to achieve a convincing simplicity—which he does. In music, as in love, sometimes the less said, the better.
Bottom Line: Dim the lights and pour the champagne