Branford Marsalis: The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born


The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born



The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born (Columbia CK 46990)

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Branford Marsalis (saxes),

Robert Hurst (bass), Jeff “Tain” Watts (drums)


Composed by Branford Marsalis


Recorded: Wembley, England, May 1991


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Delfeayo Marsalis, Branford's brother and the producer of this record, provides such studied liner notes you would think he was lecturing a class of Mensa students majoring in history and musicology. Such serious verbiage is usually reserved for the other Marsalis brother, Wynton. We all know that Branford is the fun one. After all, Branford co-starred in Throw Momma From the Train and kidded around with Jay Leno every evening when he led the Tonight Show band. But appearances can be deceiving. Branford has always been a serious musician above and beyond jazz and very capable of a broad range of expression, which has included a fair share of classical music.

"The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born" is not classical music. It is jazz. But there is no joviality in its playing. It is a somber ballad with a serious intent, and requires serious attention from the listener. Delfeayo writes that the tune has a "…free, yet structured harmony." I suppose that is an apt description. At its midpoint, Marsalis has a long expressive solo that builds in momentum. During his deep exploration on soprano sax, Branford sounds very much like Coltrane. This is not "sit back and relax" music.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky


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