Essay: Jazz Concert: Ellis Marsalis for a Little

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Jazz Concert: Ellis Marsalis

For a little over two hours on the evening of November 20, I relaxed and let myself go into the free flow of jazz emanating from the piano of Ellis Marsalis and his quartet. Marsalis is -- or ought to be -- one of the leading figures of jazz; according to the program notes he has trained many of today's most renowned jazz musicians, including fellow pianist Harry Connick, Jr. On this particular evening, the other three members of his quartet were Derek Douget on saxophone, Jason Stewart on bass, and Jason Marsales on drums.

What has always struck me as especially impressive about jazz is the way the musicians listen to each other and play off of the sound that the group is producing as a whole, creating a new sound, which in turn is played off of, which creates a new sound, etc., etc., etc. Marsalis and his quartet epitomize this process; in this performance, which was titled "An Open Letter to Thelonius," the musicians each had solos, but their best playing was when the group was working as a mixture of equals,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Jazz Concert: Ellis Marsalis for a Little.  (2008, December 9).  Retrieved September 21, 2019, from

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"Jazz Concert: Ellis Marsalis for a Little."  December 9, 2008.  Accessed September 21, 2019.