A Super Trio By The World Greatest Musicians
Bandy | Singapore | 11/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Delfeayo Marsalis said, " Branford Marsalis is the most creative and imaginative person playing music today." I strongly agree to what he said, in other word, Branford is the best saxman playing the saxophone today (I wonder how many people agree with that?). Maybe you will agree with that statement after hearing to this trio album.Hmm, how do I start? Ok, the musicians.. In this trio, we have Robert Hurst playing the bass and Jeff Watts playing drums. These 2 guys are no ordinary musicians who just only play simple jazz standards or simply just come together for some lame jamming session. Robert Hurst, is by far the best bassist I have ever heard. Many people have given a lot of acclaim to the new bassist, Eric Revis (in Branford's band) whom is also a great bassist, but I still find something is missing in Eric's bass playing, that Robert has. Robert got a deep sounding bass line filling with complex harmonic, rhythmic structures and humor, at times he would do some tension thingy like the late Jimmy Garrison, sustaining low notes, banging his bass line that would give listeners a feel of susdiminish sensibility (I don't know how to explain the sound!). And most important of all, he keeps the groove in a solid condition. Not to mention he can swing at any odd-meter vamp with great ease. A bassist with deep running power of his beat provides a very strong foundation for the band in case of any earthquakes! And by the way, where's Robert, I haven't heard anything from him since he played in the Ellis Marsalis album - another great album.Jeff Watts is one hell of a drummer, his function as a drummer is far beyond from just timekeeper. I just love his creative thundering herd of drum patterns. He is actually one of the drummers whom have invented many drumming "idioms" to the Jazz community (I don't know how to call that!). No matter what kind of music from post-bop contemporary to Ballads, the fire and polyrhythmic conception is always there. And everybody knows it!Branford is the best sax player of his generation, his playing is so consistent that those melodic and harmonic idea flows like a stream. His command on the instrument is so complete that one almost takes it for granted. The song "
Branford live: pure steepy!
Rob Watkins | Augusta, Georgia United States | 07/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"this album captures mr. marsalis (aka steeplone) live at IU with one of his best trios. he keeps the piano-less format of the preceding albums "the beautyful ones" and "trio jeepy" and again allows the absence of a chordal instrument to allow for free exploration of melody and rhythm, key since most of material on this album comes from the aforementioned "beautyful ones..." album. on this live set, the mood is relaxed, even playful, but no less artful. "xavier's lair" opens things up with mr. marsalis in a sonny rollins mood and segues beautifully into the ballad "everything happens to me." next up is steepy does trane with a quiet, but burning rendition of "beautyful ones." one of the great listening pleasures is mr. marsalis on soprano sax, and this is yet another example of just how good he is on the straight horn. the album closes with the humoresque "friday the 13th" (check out the ending) and the tribute to the late, great charlie rouse on "roused about," a great swinging conclusion to what must have been a wonderful evening in indiana. jeff watts and bob hurst provide their usual superb support. the only gripe, and this is minor, is that i wish there had been more new material. mr. marsalis records so rarely that every chance to hear him on record is worth hearing him explore new ground. still, a great set."
Best of the Marsalis Family
Pharoah S. Wail | Inner Space | 04/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit, I haven't heard every single cd released by all the members of the Marsalis family, but of the ones I own, this is my favorite.
This was his best band... Branford, Tain, and Bob Hurst are the finest power-swing unit in mainstream jazz today (well, back when this was recorded). I also have to comment on the sonic quality of the cd. Hurst's acoustic bass sounds perfect on this cd and he is such a driving force that he stands out even in this great band.
CITIZEN TAIN and XAVIER'S LAIR are excellent pieces of music and they get played for all they are worth on this cd. Maybe you've heard Branford on the tonight show, or maybe you've heard him with Sting but if you want to really hear what he is capable of in a musical context that challenges and pushes him then this is the album to buy.
I don't know who you'll think is your favorite musician in this band... some days I listen to this cd and I think that Tain is THE ONE... other days no one can touch Branford, then other days I think that Hurst is the reason that this trio was the best group Branford has ever had. It's impossible to pick. This is Branford's masterpiece."