Wynton Marsalis – Standard Time Volume 3: The Resolution Of Romance

We all have a record like this in our collections. Not necessarily a jazz record, it could be any kind of music that pleases you. But they are long-time friends, there when you really need them, not asking any questions until you’re ready for them, and then giving you exactly what you need every time. Every track speaks to you, reminds you of what’s important, shows you how far away from yourself you’ve gotten.

This is that album in my collection. I love it. I had it on cassette when it first came out, and then the CD not long after, so that means as of the time of this writing I’ve been playing these songs for 17 years. More than half of my life. Yeah, I know it pretty well. It’s seen me through a lot. And when I played it yesterday, it still filled me with that same old feeling it always has.

A jazz purist reading this review might think I’m off my rocker, say that there are better and more important albums than this. Well, I’m not about to go off on a snooty jazz rant about the form and structures here, or about the trumpet and piano work, at least not in a way that’ll sound snobby. This review is my gut reaction to an album that has meant a lot to me for a long time, not a deconstruction. These songs are perfect. Well-conceived, well-ordered, and played amazingly. The combination of Wynton and his Dad, Ellis, is stunning and the sounds of their chemistry will get into your blood and your head and stay there. Each song here is its own part of your life, a little musical time capsule of a time and place.

There are happy, joyful songs, and there are heart-achingly sad songs too. And mixed in are a whole lot of hopeful songs that exude romance in every note. As the title of the album suggests, Marsalis was searching for a definitive answer to love and romance, a way to best describe and capture it. Without question, to me, he succeeded.

I own many Marsalis albums, by Wynton, his brother Branford, and by their Dad. I listen to Wynton the most, though, because I was (and sometimes still am) a trumpet player myself. And this record is my favourite of all of them. It’s wonderful, and it just works.

2 thoughts on “Wynton Marsalis – Standard Time Volume 3: The Resolution Of Romance

  1. Mowgli the Man Cub says:

    Greetings, oh Kindred Spirit! Discovered your essay while I’m listening to this very album for the first time in perhaps six or seven years. I feel like I could have written it. So true. This record speaks to me in a way no other ever has, nor ever will.

    About a year after this CD was released, Wynton played a theater in my town. It was the Friday before Father’s Day and I had no ideas of a gift for my own dad. As I left home for the concert, I grabbed this CD, hoping to catch Wynton between sets for an autograph. I got very lucky. He did indeed come out to mingle between sets. I approached and politely asked him to sign the CD jacket to my dad for Father’s Day. Wynton not only obliged, but he seemed genuinely humbled that I thought to include him in my gift-giving scheme.

    This tale is just another reason “Resolution of Romance” holds a special place in my heart and soul. It always comes back to the music, though. Thanks for reminding me!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks so much for your comment, and your thoughts on this great record! You’re so fortunate to have seen him play. I seem to be cursed to always JUST miss him, or have something come up that gets in my way of attending. I will see him play, I swear it! The stars have to align eventually! 😉 And to meet him! Well, my hat off to you, Mowgli. I’d probably just stand there gibbering, unable to speak…

      I love this record so, so much. I even found a vinyl copy online (at no small expense). They just weren’t making as many vinyls in the early 90s. But I got one, and it sounds EVEN BETTER (if you can imagine it). Recommended.

      Thanks for stopping by. Cheers, A


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