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Musician

Branford Marsalis

Born:

Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. His first instrument, the clarinet, gave way to the alto and then the tenor and soprano saxophones when the teenage Branford began working in local bands. A growing fascination with jazz as he entered college gave him the basic tools to obtain his first major jobs, with trumpet legend Clark Terry and alongside Wynton in Art Blakey’s legendary Jazz Messengers. When the brothers left to form the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, the world of uncompromising acoustic jazz was invigorated

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Article: Radio

Bob Reynolds: Running The Changes

Read "Bob Reynolds: Running The Changes" reviewed by Leo Sidran


This year musicians and creative people have had to confront themselves, their work, and their ambitions head on, and Bob Reynolds is no exception. But unlike so many of us, Bob already had some mechanisms in place to process that struggle in a creative way. Bob is a Grammy Award-winning saxophonist, composer, and educator known for ...

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Article: Album Review

Tony Bennett and Janis Joplin 2: Tony and Janis 2 Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama

Read "Tony and Janis 2 Got Dem Ol' Kozmic Blues Again Mama" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


It was twenty years ago today (or more accurately, twenty years prior to the studio date for this recording) that the Ensenada, Baja California-based Loma Alta Life Extension foundation cloned Joplin Joplin, using the detritus obtained from one of the singer's hair brushes to bring a genetically identical replica to life. The Second Janis puts to ...

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Article: What is Jazz?

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 3: The GhostsIn a recent essay in Commentary, Terry Teachout, arts and culture critic for the Wall Street Journal, makes an argument for the date on which the jazz era officially ended and the rock/pop era began—May 9, ...

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Article: Radio

Tenor Titans: Branford Marsalis

Read "Tenor Titans: Branford Marsalis" reviewed by Russell Perry


Branford Marsalis, tenor and soprano saxophone maestro and member of the important musical clan, emerged forty years ago in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and as a sideman in his brother Wynton's early endeavors. For thirty years, the primary vehicle for his own releases has been predominantly the sax-piano-bass-drums quartet but recently he has produced work in ...

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Article: Year in Review

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

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Article: Radio

Commanding Singers Gregory Porter and Kurt Elling

Read "Commanding Singers Gregory Porter and Kurt Elling" reviewed by Russell Perry


Kurt Elling has been the dominant male vocalist in jazz for the past 20 years, winning the Down Beat Critics Poll from 2000-2013. Gregory Porter released his first record in 2010 and was recognized in the same poll as a rising star in 2013. He won the critics poll in five of the past seven years, with ...

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Article: Album Review

Eric Revis: Slipknots Through a Looking Glass

Read "Slipknots Through a Looking Glass" reviewed by John Sharpe


On Slipknots Through a Looking Glass, bassist Eric Revis helms a five strong unit to experimental ends juxtaposing emotionally ambiguous abstraction with gut punch drive. To cover the bases he unites saxophonists Bill McHenry and Darius Jones from the quartet which waxed In Memory Of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed, 2014), with the pianist Kris Davis ...

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Article: Radio

Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man In New York - Part 2

Read "Sting: An English (Jazz-)Man In New York - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Although Sting is mostly known for his solo career and, before that, for fronting one of the most epic band of all times, The Police, his love for jazz has been a common thread throughout his career. His jazz sensibility became more prominent when he started his solo career with the album The Dream of the ...

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Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Denin Koch

Read "Take Five with Denin Koch" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Denin Koch Hailed as possessing “pristine playing, meticulous composing" and “a very personal voice deserving of attention," guitarist and composer Denin Koch has synthesized his wide and varied influences into a unique approach to jazz improvisation. He has performed with Arturo Sandoval, Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Dee Daniels, Ryan Keberle, and ...


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