ALL POSTS TAGGED "branford-marsalis"

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With a driving, muscular swing feel, Tain’s rhythmic conception is one of intension and emotion. Like the rapper Action Bronson’s take on the ’90s sound of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Tain developed a modern version of Elvin Jones‘s style of play. His approach to the drums beautifully compliments the styles of Wynton and Branford. Together they create art that sounds both fresh and historically informed. It is no coincidence that Tain is the only musician to play on every one of the Marsalis brothers Grammy winning albums.

A veteran of both the music and film worlds, Jeff “Tain” Watts is one of the most renowned drummers playing today based on both the scope and quality of his work. Appearing on literally every Grammy-winning record won by both Branford and Wynton Marsalis set him aside as one of the best, but for Watts that was only the beginning. We got Jeff to take some time away from his busy schedule preparing for the Generations of the BEAT Festival to discuss his role in Spike Lee’s ‘Mo’ Better Blues,’ his role as both a sideman and bandleader, and more.

This week we take a look at the evolution of the low end of the saxes, the baritone and tenors. These players have defined recordings, performances, sounds, and styles with their rhythmic sensibilities, tonal innovations, and harmonic compositions. Take a look as we go down the line.

When John Coltrane’s blistering soprano sax led in on “My Favorite Things,” audiences were captured by Coltrane’s investigations into modal jazz and his complex re-workings of harmonies. More fascinating still, is that Coltrane chose to leave bop behind and explore this new musical territory- seen in hindsight as a pivotal turning point in the history of jazz – on an instrument that had almost become obsolete in jazz, the soprano sax. Seemingly out of nowhere, the soprano sax returned to center stage once again and proudly claimed its unique position in the story, tone and texture of jazz. Although Coltrane is one of the most famous players in jazz’s history and the history of the saxophone, there are countless more who made waves in different ways on both the alto and soprano. For this week’s Evolution of An Instrument we take you from Sidney Bechet, arguably the first jazz saophonist, through the beautiful alto tones of Lee Konitz, and up to the Carnatic intensities of Rudresh Mahanthappa. We talked with countless musicians to bring you a comprehensive list that reflects the scope of jazz history. We hope you enjoy this segment and stay tuned for Tenor and Bari next week!

Album Preview of Jazz vocalist and multi Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon joins hip-hop quartet The Beast to release Freedom Suite: a 10-track collection of creative reflections on jazz and hip-hop. Freedom Suite will be available for FREE download, digitally released on Okayplayer’s jazz inspired channel, The Revivalist, on October 26, 2010.