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Author: Subject: Article - Branford Marsalis' Comments About Gregg A. - Ouch

Zen Peach





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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:09 PM
"Screw Gun??"

quote:
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200711 11/ENT0102/711110306/1053/ENT01


Democrat and Chronicle:



November 11, 2007


Branford Marsalis twists tradition in search for new sounds



Anna Reguero
Staff Writer
For saxophonist Branford Marsalis, three Grammy Awards don't qualify him as innovative. Neither does the fact that he can as easily stand in with a rock band as he can with a big band or an avant-garde jazz combo.

"It's just versatility because true innovation means that you're doing something new, rare and rarified," he says. "Innovation comes through a tradition, not at the expense of a tradition."

He's just being modest because he's upheld today as one of the most innovative jazz musicians, always digging to find new sounds, phrases, meters and rhythms. He started his career playing with Art Blakey and shifted through groups ranging from all the top jazz and rock artists, including Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Miles Davis, Sting and the Grateful Dead, and even holding the position of musical director for the Tonight Show band.

His ears and abilities pull from an extremely wide range of music: jazz, rock, R&B, hip-hop and even classical. But he doesn't view himself as one of the world's great musicians just yet, up there with Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane.

"I want to be considered with those guys," he says. "I want to be considered with them musically. To do that, it takes a body of work, a big body of work to stand up to that. That's the goal."

Braggtown, his latest CD with his quartet released last year, is a challenging sonic journey that's as touching as it is creative. Tunes like the opener "Jack Baker" are driven with a churning uneven rhythm, yet seem to flow with the ease of a jazz standard. "Hope" and "Fate," both balladlike, showcase Marsalis' phrasing and tone quality, things most associated with classical musicians. Further tunes strip jazz down to the bare essentials, others are playful and even raucous, but it's always original and impeccably performed.

Marsalis' hope to be innovative is somewhat ironic, considering his family's musical direction. His brother Wynton is the world's spokesman for the roots and traditions of jazz, leading the jazz world while perched high on his throne at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Wynton is responsible for bringing names like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis into the vocabulary of the general public.

Branford, however, has gone down a much different path. Rather than acting as a preservationist, he's an architect. Wynton is leading from the high roads of New York, and Branford is experimenting under the mainstream radar in California. His insistence on knowing the traditions of jazz most certainly comes from his New Orleans background, but he's never bound by that.

"He (Wynton) wants to have jazz restored to a certain level in popular culture," he says. "There are certain concessions to get that done. Me (and my quartet), we want to see how far we can take it. Everybody can't do that. There's a lot of people who say they're doing that, but they're not doing it either."

He's right. Not everyone can do what he does or understand the extent of his abilities, especially when he crosses the line into rock. Playing a concert with the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman thought Branford should sit out the tune "Screw Gun," which is in an odd meter. But, luckily, guitarist Warren Haynes knew. He told Branford, "C'mon, man, just play the song."

"Gregg Allman was like 'Wow,'" says Branford. "He obviously doesn't listen to jazz. We play in all sorts of strange meters. Having a song based on one chord in 5/4, I'm good to go."

If Branford is bound by his roots in any way, he does it through knowing that his name can be used to do good in the world. When Hurricane Katrina hit, he banded together with Harry Connick Jr.;his father, Ellis Marsalis; and the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity to build housing for the poor, targeted at New Orleans musicians, but not limited to them. More than 300 homes will be built by the project's end, all surrounding the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, which aims to educate low-income families on being homeowners.

"It's all about using a certain level of public awareness to become a spokesperson to help," he says, when asked if he feels a responsibility to help because of his stature. "Harry and I, when you think about it, we didn't do anything anyways. You point to a spot on the earth and then hundreds of thousands of people help. That's what's really helping, the outpouring of good will that has been exhibited from people around the world. What I've done is nothing."

It's the same modesty that surrounds his musicianship. But there's one thing he isn't modest about, and it's getting the job done on stage. He comes to Rochester with a wide-open book of music ready for the concert.

"We tour for a living, we play music for a living, so we're playing all the time. We have the benefit of knowing songs from the last 80 years of jazz we can pick sounds that work depending on the audience. Depending on how adventurous the audience is, that'll determine the music we play."

AREGUERO@DemocratandChronicle.com


 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:15 PM
I wonder what the song "Screw Gun" sounds like...?


Brandford didn't actually say that, did he?

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:23 PM
quote:
I wonder what the song "Screw Gun" sounds like...?


Brandford didn't actually say that, did he?


That song was on Hittin the Nail. Along with the classic tune pnuematic nailer.

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:23 PM
quote:
a song based on one chord in 5/4
If I were to write a song called "Screw Gun," it'd have a heavy theme loosely based on "Peter Gunn" but extended that extra beat.
quote:
Ouch
No, Gregg doesn't come off bad, really. Branford didn't put him down, just because Gregg doesn't listen to jazz and underestimated him. Except the term "obviously" might be a little harsh.

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:24 PM
quote:
quote:
I wonder what the song "Screw Gun" sounds like...?


Brandford didn't actually say that, did he?


That song was on Hittin the Nail. Along with the classic tune pnuematic nailer.



Oh yeah...that's the album with "Instrumental Tetanus" and "(How To Build A) Rockin' Horse" too, right?

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:25 PM
I was expecting something a lot worse than that.

Doug

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:26 PM
Tim Allen sang background vocals on that record if I remember correctly.

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:28 PM

I've never liked the version of "Screw Gun" they do now anyway. It could never sound as great as when Duane played it.

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:32 PM
quote:
Tim Allen sang background vocals on that record if I remember correctly.



Hahaha....don't let him near Warren or Derek's "axes"

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:46 PM
quote:
I wonder what the song "Screw Gun" sounds like...?


Brandford didn't actually say that, did he?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



That song was on Hittin the Nail. Along with the classic tune pnuematic nailer.


lmfao...funniest thread i have seen in awhile

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:50 PM
ROFL!! This is hilarious!

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:51 PM
Is there a set list out there from the night Branford sat in? I'm curious as to what other song name was misinterpreted or heard wrong. Screw Gun doesn't make any sense.

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:51 PM
If Dickey were back in the band it would sound better.

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:53 PM
quote:
Is there a set list out there from the night Branford sat in? I'm curious as to what other song name was misinterpreted or heard wrong. Screw Gun doesn't make any sense.


Maybe he was thinkin' about the classic, "I Got Yer Woodchipper, Baby". Gregg does an awesome organ solo on that one!

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 05:54 PM
quote:
Is there a set list out there from the night Branford sat in? I'm curious as to what other song name was misinterpreted or heard wrong. Screw Gun doesn't make any sense.



The one show that I know of is Raleigh 8-10-2003, where Branford sat in on Dreams and WP.


The encore was the rarely performed "Screw Gun", with Jaimoe and Marc using power tools to keep time

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 06:06 PM
quote:
ROFL!! This is hilarious!


I agree. LOL. Screw Gun indeed.

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 06:19 PM
I frequently play that third disc from the Raleigh show where Branford sat in. I loved hearing it in person that night and again on IL. I've wondered why that pairing hasn't happened again...

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 06:51 PM
I have wondered that to EZ, he lives in Durham NC real close. The show you mentioned in Raleigh with Branford is my all time favorite NC show.Love that Dreams and we also had the other horn blower on that tour, name escapes me right now he played in The Greyboy Allstars.
 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 07:00 PM
Tunney that would be Karl Denson! He also played with Karl Denson's Tiny Universe!

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 07:03 PM
Thats it, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe opened up for ABB that year.
 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 07:06 PM
quote:
Thats it, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe opened up for ABB that year.


...and kicked butt in ATL and CHA. Still kicking myself in the rear for not going to the RAL show...

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 07:14 PM
Some one ought to let Branford know that jazz is over rated too. Sure jazz can jam but for the most part, you don't tap your feet or shake your butt to it.

Hopefully Gregg spends his musical time listening to Rory Gallagher and Black Sabbath and the Stones and Skynyrd and the Detroit Cobras to name a few. Throw in some SRV and Trower too.

Rock On Gregg! Jazz is Over Rated!

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 07:14 PM
quote:
quote:
Thats it, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe opened up for ABB that year.


...and kicked butt in ATL and CHA. Still kicking myself in the rear for not going to the RAL show...


ain't tryin to change the subject but miss thang was lookin at your myspace this evenin & seen where your mood was 'thoughtful',,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,she looked at it & ain't missed a beat,,,said,,,,,,,,'that ain't good'...................................i laughed my ass off we do love you though big daddy


now back to regular programmin...................

[Edited on 11/13/2007 by reneed]

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 07:42 PM
My favorite all time Screw Gun was with Mike Lawler. He could really stretch out the keytar on that one.

NP: Screw Gun, Passaic Theatre 1980

 

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  posted on 11/12/2007 at 07:54 PM
I want to hear WP done with jack-hammers; on a sidewalk with big bellied Union Workers as they hammer that concrete. It would work and I bet it's happened more than once. Youtube waits.

 

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