Ellis Marsalis is more than the father of four famous sons. Hes an acclaimed pianist and educator in his own right, and his musical history has covered a lot of ground. Homecoming (ELM Records, 2009), his new CD, is a mix of old and new, combining a reissue of 1985 duet session with saxophonist Eddie Harris, and new music recorded in 2009 with fellow New Orleanian pianist Jonathan Batiste. In this interview, Marsalis talks about how his time in the Marines helped build his piano chops; how he got his gig with trumpeter Al Hirt; and what makes New Orleans fertile ground for a jazz musician.
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