After doing the Carnival cornet album with “Moto Perpetuo” on it in 1987, Wynton must have decided to record a jazz equlivent. This is “Cherokee” with only Wynton doing the solo. Six and a half straight minutes of playing and improvising at a fast tempo, two, or three years after the Carnival album. Instead of reading fast sixteenth notes for almost five minutes, why not create your own composition while you play? It makes it a different challenge. Add the creative element to the mix, and you get jazz.
In the liner notes of this boxed set of CDs, Wynton says he thinks this is some of his best playing. The speed at which the creative ideas are coming out of his head is alarming to me. There’s not enough time to think and execute at this speed–it has to be an automatic system working that I have heard other great jazz players talk about.
No time to think, just let it go and watch what comes out. Most of us, including me, have no idea of what that feels like. It also has to make sense within the chord changes, and be more than just random notes coming out. This performance is trumpet at a level the jazz world has never heard before.
I think Wynton is constantly looking for new challenges, and trying to make a statement. He is making the case that he is the best all-around trumpet player ever. Until a great classical trumpet player puts out a recording like this, he has a good case.