Branford Marsalis Talking Jazz
People tend to group Branford Marsalis together with his younger brother Wynton (as I have done in this very sentence). In fact, the two musicians are as different as night and day. Whereas Wynton's outlook is overtly intellectual, even brooding, Branford tends to be lighter, more offhand with his remarks, even flippant at times. But while he is prone to clown around, he too possesses a razor sharp intellect and the ability to cut directly to the heart of the matter. In fact, what is startling is how much substance his apparently casual conversation contains. One could say this quality is also reflected in his music. It has a playfulness that belies the years of careful experimentation that have gone into its execution. The following conversation took place not long after Branford released his first solo record, Scenes In The City and during the period that he was on the road with Sting's band and was receiving a lot of criticism from the jazz press for playing pop music.