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The Steep Anthology

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Album Review

The Steep Anthology collects various tracks from some of saxophonist Branford Marsalis' best Columbia albums. Beginning with his first session as a leader on 1983's Scenes in the City through to 1999's Requiem — his second to last album for the label — the eldest of the Marsalis brothers carved a singular path through the jazz world. Inspired by such innovative luminaries as John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Wayne Shorter, Marsalis always displayed a deep understanding of his jazz roots while also looking to put his own unique stamp on the music. Never as buttoned-up as his trumpet-playing brother, the saxophonist made recordings that often seemed brilliantly haphazard, allowing for humorous and idiosyncratic forays into gutbucket blues and torrents of avant-garde skronk. His almost psychic connection with his bandmates, including the late pianist Kenny Kirkland, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts, and bassist Robert Hurst, made for exciting and sometimes irreverent music that often gave the impression of eavesdropping on a conversation ripe with inside jokes. Most of the tracks here are original compositions by Marsalis, and many showcase his early "burnout" aesthetic of pushing his solos to the furthest limit he could. Others, such as "Royal Garden Blues" and "Sidney in da Haus," find the versatile New Orleans native rejoicing in his hometown second-line traditions with a bluesy, modernist edge. Marsalis left Columbia in 2002 to start his own independent music label; The Steep Anthology is a fitting tribute to the development of one of the most influential and individualistic jazz musicians of his generation.

Customer Reviews

Thank you thank you Brandon M

Look folks ..Brandon is the guy that keeps the fire burning.. THIS IS JAZZ! THANK YOU Mr Marsalis....you have BALLS to play your conviction ....Turn this up and bathe in the fire of the tumultuous . .....if you dont get it go buy a Paul Hardcastle track and pretend you are important.

Biography

Born: August 26, 1960 in Breaux Bridge, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, Branford Marsalis has had an impressive career. After studying at Southern University and Berklee, Branford toured Europe with the Art Blakey big band in the summer of 1980 (playing baritone), played three months with Clark Terry, and then spent five months playing alto with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1981). He mostly played tenor and soprano while with Wynton Marsalis' influential group (1982-1985), at first sounding most influenced by Wayne Shorter...
Full Bio

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The Steep Anthology, Branford Marsalis
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Feb 19, 2004

Customer Ratings

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