WYNTON MARSALIS: Blood On The Fields, Blu-ray (1996/2016)

A fine documentary on the making of the 1996 Marsalis album.

WYNTON MARSALIS: Blood On The Fields, Blu-ray (1996/2016)

Cast: Wynton Marsalis
Director: Susan Shaw
Studio: Monarda/ Arthaus Musik 109215 [3/25/16]
Video: For 16:9 screens, 1080i color & b&w
Audio: English PCM Stereo
Subtitles: English, German, French
All regions
Length: 54 min.
Rating: ****

This film, obviously with its under-an-hour length, was made by director Susan Shaw in honor of the Marsalis composition Blood On The Fields. He is more than well-known as a trumpet player and composer in jazz as well as the classical genre. Much of the film consists of black and white footage of Marsalis sitting in the back seat of his car being driven around NYC while he expounds on the meanings of jazz and so on.

In the film he journeys not only to his Lincoln Center headquarters, but also to his home town of New Orleans and to the NYC studio where the album Blood On The Fields was recorded. His assembled band from Lincoln Center is seen putting together the album, while he talks about his music and his special way of working. While it would be a shame to have this video and not the original CD of Blood on the Fields, the work doesn’t necessarily require being familiar with it to enjoy the film.

—John Sunier

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