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Ellis Marsalis — Ruminations in New York
(ESP Disk 4000, 2004, CD)

by Sean McFee, Published 2006-05-01

Ruminations in New York Cover artPiano 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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Ellis Marsalis

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