Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet: The 21st Century Trad Band

When I listen to an album by Jason Marsalis, I can’t help but conjure up a scenario in the Marsalis household circa 1970, with father Ellis bringing his kids together…

“OK, Wynton, you get the trumpet; Branford, take up the sax; Delfayo, you gotta learn the trombone. Let’s see, what’s left…Jason, you’re taking up the vibes, son.”

Did Jason get the short stick? (No pun intended-maybe) Whatever the cause of his musical destiny, he’s made the best of it, as this latest release his a wonderfully swinging and lyrical affair. The team of Marsalis with Austin Johnson/p, Will Gogle/b and  David Potter/dr know how to go into overdrive as on “18th Letter of Silence” and can also keep it soft and gentle during a tune such as “Nights in Brooklyn.” Hip bop grooves are all over the places, such as on the snappy “Offeat Personality” while the team can also build up dramatic effect and create some dynamics during “Interzone.” Goble keeps things together with his rich bass, particularly on “Ratio Man” while the vibes and piano are able to create some percussive work of their own. Very impressive-any family band in the future?

Basin Street Records


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