Branford Marsalis: Confident MF Playin’ Tunes
Publication: All About Jazz
Author: R.J. DeLuke
Date: December 10, 2012
Musicians evolve, and so do bands, if they’re allowed to stay together long enough to develop their musical relationships—that certain chemistry. Such is the case with Branford Marsalis, the outstanding saxophonist who has been through so much in his storied career. It’s also the case with his band, which he has kept together, with few personnel changes, for more than a decade. They are a tight unit that continues to ripen.
That band, and its saxophonist, are going as strong as ever. While controversies in jazz music, real or media contrived, materialize and dissipate like weather systems, Marsalis always holds his course, producing consistently compelling music and leading a band that is both steeped in the jazz tradition and bent on continuing to hone its identity and sound.
Not like he asked for it, but being part of the renowned and remarkably talented Marsalis clan out of New Orleans has placed much of the saxophonist’s career in a bigger spotlight than that of most musicians. A lot has happened over the years, and Marsalis, a man of strong opinions backed by sturdy confidence, remains steadfast, not concerned with exterior commotion. A man with a sharp and disarming sense of humor, he’s bemused by much of what transpires away from the bandstand.