Personnel: Wynton Marsalis (vocals, trumpet); Shirley Horn (vocals); Kent Jordan (alto flute); Todd Williams (clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Alvin Batiste (clarinet); Branford Marsalis (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Wes Anderson (alto saxophone); Herbert Harris , Victor Goines, Walter Blanding (tenor saxophone); Joe Temperley (baritone saxophone); Wycliffe Gordon (trombone); Ellis Marsalis, Eric Reed, Kenny Kirkland, Marcus Roberts (piano); Phil Bowler, Reginald Veal, Robert Hurst , Ron Carter , Ben Wolfe (bass guitar); Herlin Riley, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Lewis Nash (drums).
As a staunch jazz classicist and a vociferous champion of its traditions, Wynton Marsalis should seem right at home playing an album of jazz standards. And, in fact, he does. Marsalis is well suited to classic, acoustic sets, in part because of his clear, lyrical tone on the trumpet, but mostly because of his love for the music (Marsalis's aversion to avant garde, fusion, and other experimental takes on the genre is well known).
The set list of STANDARDS has many of the usual suspects, including "April in Paris," "A Foggy Day," "Django," and "Caravan." It's clear Marsalis isn't out to radically re-invent these tunes, but rather to give them classic renderings, summoning the ghost of early, acoustic post-bop with an appealing sense of balance, beauty, and technical precision.