Recording Handel's operas can be tricky. Overly immaculate studio readings tend to rob the long chains of recitatives and arias of the immediacy they need to stay interesting; and live recordings tend to be messy, not to mention noisy. This Agrippina, by Jean-Claude Malgoire and La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy, and starring Veronique Gens as the titular anti-heroine, certainly suffers from some "live-itis:" the orchestra isn't always sharp, orchestra and singers are occasionally out of phase, and there is plenty of audience and stage noise.
As his first album of all-original material (performed with a quintet or less) since his 1988 release Thick in the South: Soul Gestures in Southern Blue, Vol. 1, and his first album for Blue Note Records, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' The Magic Hour is a disappointing return to progressive, small-group jazz. This is not to say that there aren't some excellent things here, but taken as an album, The Magic Hour seems logy and inconsequential.