[ No headline ]
CLASSICAL Trumpet Concertos: Haydn, Hummel, L. Mozart. Wynton Marsalis, trumpet. National Philharmonic Orchestra, Raymond Leppard conductor. (CBS Masterworks Digital IM 37846.) Marsalis's reputation as a jazz master (see the jazz section of this guide) has received the most attention until now, but the same vigor shoots through his classical interpretations. Indeed, his mastery of classical idioms (at least the late-18th-century sort) seems to draw strength from the same wellspring of energy and technical command that nourishes his improvised work. His tone is full and true, rich in the lower registers and bright up above; his embellishments (especially in the final movements of the Mozart and Hummel works) burst into bloom without tripping the melodic flow for an instant; his rhythmic sense remains sharp in all tempos. Still in his early 20s and already a veteran of major orchestras - not to mention his experience with some of the most imposing talents of modern jazz - Marsalis has an unbounded future before him. One facet of it is crisply captured in these appealing performances, energetically abetted by Leppard's sympathetic conducting.