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Branford Marsalis Trio - Dark Keys

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by JazznFunk, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I'm not sure if it's my ears, my stereo, or something else, but I'm having a hard time hearing a good deal of bass on this recording, especially in some of the hotter blowing sections. Anyone else have this observation about this record? Aside from that, it smokes. I've always dug Branford for his wish to move forward and advance his playing, as opposed to the other Marsalis.... ;-)
  2. I agree re: "...the other Marsalis", but I thought that Branford M. was totally off-base with his comments about Cecil Taylor in the Ken Byrnes "Jazz" series. CT's comment about the listener having to "do their homework" to understand some music (especially "modern") is absolutely valid, and in my experience has proved itself over and over again. BM's dismissive put-down of CT's music and explanation, was (IMHO) totally unfair, and any credibility Mr (Branford) Marsalis had as an educator, was immediately lost, and he fell back to the position of being just another player - OK, he has the chops, but I get the impression that he really doesn't have the slightest idea how to bring new listeners to music. It's more than just "...well, the music should speak for itself - the listener shouldn't have to do any work..." (which seems to sum up the state of people's attitude not just to music, but to art in general these days...)

    Well, when I was young, we didn't have TV, or Britney Spears, or... or... or...

    Now, what was the original question again, please?

    - Wil
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I remember the exchange with some level of clarity: Cecil was semi-quoted as saying that people needed to work preparing themselves to listen in order to fully appreciate his music, and Branford responded that people did not field grounders before going off to the ballpark.

    I've played a fair amount of free improv over the years. It is fun to play. It is challenging to play. It helps my ears grow. I don't shy away from it. (Well good for you, dog breath!) I guess that makes me a prepared listener.

    My experience is that free improv is often more fun to play than to hear. With that in mind, I agree with both Cecil and Branford (not that either of them cares what I think). My composing, rudimentary as it is, usually aims to give musicians some meat to chew on and listeners some handles to grab on to.

    With all respect, Will, I think that people have a built-in disincentive to explore music which is which requires preparation to appreciate on an entry level. And if people (to say nothing of club-owners) get the impression that all jazz is wild free improv, they have an easier time saying, "I'm not interested in listening to more jazz."
  4. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    I really like Brandford's "The beautiful are not yet born" and I really did Bob Hurst, recently I saw him playing with Geri Allen and Billy Hart and it was a great show, he's a very acomplished musician, he played this unbelievable arco solo, but back in the early 90's I saw the Brandford Marsalis Trio with Jeff watts and Bob Hurst, and the bass was miked and in about 2 and a half hours I heard very little bass, sometimes I think that some jazz players can bacome a bit arrogant about the puristic acoustic nature of jazz and that way sacrificing the performance, after all I always think that the bass, drums, horns,brass were not really designed to play together, and it can be acomplished beautifully but it takes a lot out of everybody involved, because each instrument has an optimum volume level where you feel comfortable phisically and technically
  5. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    I won't argue that point, Wil, because I agree as well. Jazz takes a bit of prior knowledge and awareness to fully understand. However, I don't have a lot of respect for CT after reading his comments about Bill Evans's work in a recently published book about Evans (I think it's called "Everything Happens to Me"), particularly with regard to his choice of working with Scott LaFaro. Taylor ripped LaFaro's sound, style, and concept and basically said it was rubbish.

    I can't recall the exact portion of KB's Jazz that you're speaking of, but I'll check it out so I can be better informed about that exchange.


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