JFS #181 The Ellis Marsalis Interview



My guest today is one of the forefathers of Americas only true art form.

He was born in New Orleans, LA which in this hosts opinion was one of two Meccas of African Roots Music. The other bring Harlem.

Starting out on Tenor Saxophone my guest switched over to the piano and began swinging with fellow contemporaries Cannonball and Nat Adderley Al Hirt, Eddie Lee Charlton and Ray Charles horn leader David "Fathead Newman."

My guest didn't grow up inside the walls of academia. He developed his individual sound through live playing, 3 sets a night at some mafia supported club. As Louis Armstrong used to say, without the Sicilians there would be no jazz in America.

My guests legacy goes beyond the music. He is father of six sons who grew up in an environment of total exposure. They heard the sounds of N'orleans, they saw the overt prejudice and they saw the titans of this music counteract that bigotry by channeling their experiences through their instruments. His two most well known sons Branford and Wynton are considered luminaries in melodic invention both through there work at certain venues and education.

Born in 1934, my guest came up playing modal music, often angular, at times rapping the ivory and simultaneously tickling it. Also, he's a listener which is how real music is made. You listen to Bill Hayden or James Black or Jeff Tain Watts and their listening to him and playing mot mournful yet powerful notes, exploring the deep seas of their spirit in an attempt to elevate the consciousness of the listener and there creator. Live from New Orleans, Ellis Marsalis welcome to the JFS.



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Ellis Marsalis [Download]


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