Ellis Marsalis — Ruminations in New York
(ESP Disk 4000, 2004, CD)
by Sean McFee, Published 2006-05-01Piano ballads! Whether you are seducing the ladies or getting stone drunk to forget them, a languid piano ballad replete with blue notes, suspended chords, and finger rolls is a perfect tone-setter. Enter Ellis Marsalis, patriarch of the impressive jazz family (yes, including Wynton), and Ruminations in New York, recorded in 2003. I’m not sure what reading a review is going to tell anyone that they don’t already know; Marsalis is a world-renowned jazz pianist with a deft touch and a traditional approach, and while many Exposé readers are admittedly more at home with Cecil Taylor or Satoko Fujii – as am I – Marsalis is as good as anyone for the type of material he chooses to perform. Less renowned for his compositions than his performances, Marsalis acquits himself fine on Ruminations; the pieces lend themselves well to a smooth, seemingly effortless delivery, carefree and joyful. I’m no expert on this type of material, even if I like my Monk; it’s just a nice CD of solo piano jazz, simple as that.
Related artist(s): Ellis Marsalis
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more
Heart - Little Queen, Dog & Butterfly, Bebe le Strange – Out of the Pacific Northwest, the two rockin' sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson and their band hit American radios in early '76 with "Crazy on You" and "Magic Man," two hits with a sound that combined an... (2004) » Read more