Transcription on Branford Marsalis’ solo on “In The Crease” (live version) by jamesmahone in Types > Research > Arts & Architecture. Happy 58th to #BranfordMarsalis – a most diverse and complex musician. In mid 80s, while still a Berklee College of Music student, Marsalis toured Europe. Contemporary Jazz. Tracks. In The Crease. Branford Marsalis. Requiem. 6: Brafnord Marsalis. Elysium. Branford Marsalis. Cheek To Cheek.

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The disc is completed by a fleet, provocatively arranged version of the standard “Cheek to Cheek,” a “hidden” walking blues “Sleepy Hollow” that finds Branford in a Ben Webster mood and a new version of “Elysium” that transforms a piece first heard in a trio setting on the Requiem CD.

One guy is even constantly sending me emails with Tain titles. And since he and his band are so highly skilled at communicating their vision, his fans can consider themselves equally lucky.

Along with celebrating his birthday on August 26, Branford can take heart from knowing that his band has created not only Contemporary Jazz, but contemporary jazz at its finest. It’s one of those songs that goes back creass when I roomed with ‘Smitty’ Smith at Berklee, and would mess with his Doctor Rhythm machine when he wasn’t around.

I never forgot that. Skip to main content.

So now we’ll do them forever. Now it’s completely different. Everything’s in five, except for one bar in six.


This is not an obvious choice, and is definitely not the easy way out, for a musician who, as he turns 40, has already enjoyed two decades of acclaim and celebrity. I’ve always wanted to write rhythmically challenging music that flows, because I’ve always felt that it’s hard as hell to play odd meters without spelling them out, but then you lose an organic melodic feeling.

And as far as the rest of the band getting it,” he laughs, “I’ve learned that you can rehearse and rehearse and it will remain problematic, but screw it up a couple of times on a gig and you learn it real fast.

More by Branford Marsalis Quartet

Kenny’s the one who turned me on to Keith’s music, which has influenced the shape that my ballads would take. It might have ended there, but then I heard that a lot of other musicians, drummers in particular, were upset that we were writing so many tunes for Tain. Walter would even pull his hands off the keyboard when he found himself going to a familiar idea.

I think of how Stravinsky, in his autobiography, talks about the frustration of people finding something of yours that they like, then expecting you to do it for the rest of your life while you’re constantly trying to write something new, that they might not understand. Unlike so many musicians I meet, who either play modern music at the expense of the tradition or become too immersed in the tradition to play modern music, Joey plays modern, he’s forward thinking, but he still has that attitude.


Contemporary Jazz | Branford Marsalis

And that means you just play it, accept the consequences, and realize how lucky you are. We’ve gone through what we needed to, as people and as musicians, to be at the top of our game. Together they provide that mix of restlessness and assurance, of knowledge and inquiry, which the leader and the music demand.

Now that I’ve been doing it for so long, I was able to just write the melody for ‘In the Crease’ without worrying about the meter.

This music has its visceral and emotional rewards, but it also provides new perspectives and provokes fresh responses. But when Keith was ill and couldn’t braanford, I just decided to save it for this album.

In The Crease, a song by Branford Marsalis Quartet on Spotify

Tain called me from the club one night and said, ‘If you ever want to hear tthe the way it’s supposed to be played, get down here! We’re not students anymore; we’ve gone through ‘university.

It allows us to hear what’s next, rather than simply what we already know.