A Teacher’s Teacher: Ellis Marsalis, RIP   3 comments

Ellis Marsallis-72A Teacher’s Teacher: Ellis Marsalis (November 14, 1934, April 1, 2020) Image Source: Chicago Tribune 

All of us reach an age when it seems like every day someone of our generation dies, even more now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, on April 1, a giant in education and jazz became one of the numbers in the current pandemic. 

In the 1980s, Ellis Marsalis, with his sons, became the fresh new face to a resurgence of jazz in the last decades of the 20th century. “My dad was a giant of a musician and teacher, but an even greater father,” Branford Marsalis said in a statement. “He poured everything he had into making us the best of what we could be.”

Ellis Marsalis had a light and graceful touch at the piano, allowing his enter fellings to pour out like a gentle flowing mountain stream. He had held a weekly gig for decades at Snug Harbor, one of New Orleans’s premier jazz clubs, before giving it up in December. 

The New Times critic, wrote: “Sticking mainly to the middle register of the keyboard, the pianist offered richly harmonized arrangements in which fancy keyboard work was kept to a minimum and studious melodic invention, rather than pronounced bass patterns, determined the structures and tempos.”

 

One of my favorite Cole Porter songs done superbly by Ellis and his son Branford.

3 responses to “A Teacher’s Teacher: Ellis Marsalis, RIP

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  1. A rich and fitting tribute, kenne.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. he will be sorely missed by so many, nice tribute

    Liked by 1 person

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