Wynton Marsalis (with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Cassandra Wilson and Jon Hendricks)

Blood on the Fields

  • Sony

Marsalis has been working in large-scale classical forms with some of his dance scores, but this three-hour oratorio dealing with slavery and race relations is his most ambitious piece yet. Politically, it's thoughtful; musically, it's often astonishingly inventive, though often inhabiting some of the more dissonant terrains on the jazz cutting edge.

— David Patrick Stearns