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Branford Marsalis

The oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, Branford Marsalis has had an impressive career. After studying at Southern University and Berklee, Branford toured Europe with the Art Blakey big band in the summer of 1980 (playing baritone), played three months with Clark Terry, and then spent five months playing alto with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1981). He mostly played tenor and soprano while with Wynton Marsalis' influential group (1982-1985), at first sounding most influenced by Wayne Shorter but leaning more toward John Coltrane at the end. The musical telepathy between the two brothers (who helped to revive the sound of the mid-'60s Miles Davis Quintet) was sometimes astounding. Branford toured with Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P. II. in 1983 and recorded with Miles Davis (1984's Decoy). In 1985, when he left Wynton to join Sting's pop/rock group, it caused a major (if temporary) rift with his brother that made headlines. Marsalis enjoyed playing with Sting but did not let the association cause him to forget his musical priorities. By 1986, he was leading his own group which eventually consisted of pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Bob Hurst, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts; sometimes the band was a piano-less trio that really allowed Marsalis to stretch out. After a couple of film appearances (in School Daze and Throw Mama from the Train), Branford Marsalis became even more of a celebrity when he joined Jay Leno's Tonight Show as the musical director in 1992. However, being cast in the role of Leno's sidekick rubbed against Marsalis' temperament and after two years he had had enough. Branford Marsalis, who attempted to mix together hip-hop and jazz in his erratic Buckshot LeFonque project, has recorded steadily for Columbia ever since 1983 (including a classical set). In 2002, having left Columbia, Marsalis formed his own label Marsalis Music. Intended as a true independent label focused on supporting the development of musicians, Marsalis Music has released albums by such diverse artists as guitarist/vocalist Doug Wamble, pianist/vocalist Harry Connick, Jr., saxophonist Miguel Zenón, and others. Marsalis himself also kept busy releasing a handful of albums on the label including Footsteps of Our Fathers, which featured his take on the classic John Coltrane composition "A Love Supreme" in 2002, Romare Bearden Revealed in 2003, Eternal in 2004, Braggtown in 2006, and Metamorphosen in 2009. In 2011, Marsalis delivered the duo album Songs of Mirth and Melancholy featuring pianist Joey Calderazzo. In the spring of 2012, the Marsalis quartet -- Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and the young drummer Jason Faulkner -- released Four MF's Playin Tunes. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

i miss buckshot lefonque
LOVE STONE is pure flow !!!!! Coltrane would be proud X
This is a legit masterpiece
Loved his sound since "Crazy People Music" and "The Dark Knight"
Great drummer!
mmaiella
Outstanding musician - horrible temperament! Check him out on Sting's Bring on the Night DVD (the documentary portion) and you'll see what I mean. He's a brilliant musician, but arrogant and a big crybaby when he doesn't get his way. I would hate to have to work with him. Can't deny his talents though! One of the best as long as he keeps the sax in his mouth!
Saw Branford in concert after the release of 4 MFs Playing Tunes. What an amazing talent! The Mighty Sword and Teo were especially memorable.
roadrunner_m j p - p a n d o r a
Loved Branford jamming with the Grateful Dead on stage. Eyes of the World is sweet.
Go Branford. I respect the fact you wanted your own and were not content as Jay Leno's road dog! You are your own man with your own thing. You got face time on Leno. But do not need him to do your thing my brother! This brother is COLD!!
calchinaka
LOOOVVEEE him
A generational great, he and his core will leave a powerful legacy for many in the future.
Great entertainmen t for the mind & soul. www.russjohn s o n . b i z
Bradford is waaayy Under-Rated. A Gr8 Musician!
why dont you have his romances for saxophone cd
Happy Birthday.

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