Produced by Delfeayo Marsalis
Executive Producer George Butler
October 27, 1987
Branford Marsalis - Saxophones
Kenny Kirkland - Piano
Tony Williams - Drums
Bob Hurst - Bass
On "The Peacocks": Herbie Hancock Piano, Buster Williams - Bass
RealAudio Clip (Download)
"Just One Of Those Things"
"The Wrath (Structured Burnout)"
The impact that Branford Marsalis has made on modern music in the 80s continues to be felt on his third album for Columbia Records, RENAISSANCE. Branford maintains a commitment to traditional jazz that is second to none, complemented by his ongoing projects with pop vocalist Sting, plus his recent expansion into the classical field, and a couple of highly anticipated film roles set for 87-88 release. Working with an extraordinary lineup of talented jazz players, Branford has come with a program of ballads that pays homage to jazz scenes past and present. Long-time pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Bob Hurst (moonlighting from brother Wyntons quartet), and stellar drummer/composer Tony Williams comprise Branford's recording group on the LP.
They open with Cole Porters "Just One of Those Things" and close with Sonny Rollins reliable "St. Thomas." In between: J.J. Johnsons "Lament"; a pair from Tony Williams, "Love Stone" and "Citadel"; and an original from Branford, "The Watch (Structured Burnout)" yet another installment in the "Chambers of Tain"/"Waiting for Tain"/"Wrath of Tain" cosmology inspired by drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts. The centerpiece of RENAISSANCE is "The Peacocks," written by the great pianist Jimmy Rowles. Guest stars on this new trio version are Herbie Hancock on piano and bassist Buster Williams.
RENAISSANCE was once again produced by younger brother Delfeayo Marsalis, whose work on Royal Garden Blues earned that album a Grammy nomination. The new LP was recorded at Paramount in Los Angeles with the exception of two cuts: "The Peacocks" was recorded New Years Eve 86 at RCA Studio A in New York (site of Branfords first two solo LPs, and Wyntons last four); and "St. Thomas" was recorded by Delfeayo at Concert-by-the-sea in Redondo Beach "with a Sony TCD5M cassette recorder and a generic microphone."
As far and wide as his musical forays into blues, rock and R&B have taken him, jazz is the core, home base. For his first film role, "Throw Mama From the Train" (Orion, opening December 87), written/directed/starring Danny DeVito, with Billy Crystal, Branford portrays a jazz musician (performing two original compositions in the course of the film), and the result should be something to behold.
"Im confident of my ability," he told Kevin Whitehead in the down beat issue of March 87 that featured him on the cover, "but Im not ready to break now ground right now; I still want to do classical and pop records. But its no lie, I wont play anything for money. When you do it for money, you have to kiss too much ass
Man, if I did it for money, would I say half the things I say?"
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