Wynton Marsalis Quartet The Magic Hour (Blue Note) Whatever one thinks of Wynton Marsalis' pontifications on what jazz is (or, in his view, ought to be), if he wasn't one of the finest jazz trumpeters of his generation, he'd never have had an audience for his opinions. Here, the artistic director of Jazz at the Lincoln Centre represents his always impressive credentials as a small group leader, composer and soloist. The result is his best album in years. According to Marsalis, he and the group of young musicians who worked with him on the album tried to capture the atmosphere of a party at his house. Assuming they did, it must have been a pretty good bash to attend. The tunes herein, produced by brother Delfeayo (below with Wynton) and his first for Blue Note, are all self-written and include two vocal showcases, the opening Feeling of Jazz, wonderfully sung by Dianne Reeves, and Baby, I Love You, to which Bobby McFerrin contributes both lyric and vocal. In both cases Marsalis' trumpet dances elegantly and playfully around the singer, and he sounds to be having an uncharacteristically good time. Other high points are Big Fat Hen, a sort of New Orleans samba, and an extended The Magic Hour, a musical attempt to evoke the general chaos of a household when parents are trying to get children to bed and the more peaceful time that follows. More Marsalis in this vein would be welcome.