Branford Marsalis & Ellis Marsalis: Laura
Loved Ones (Columbia 67369)
Composed by David Raksin & Johnny Mercer.
Recorded: Queens, NY, August 14 & September 11, 1995
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
I'm not sure what it would be like to record a duet album with Dad. Sometimes the father and son relationship is a wee bit complicated, ne c'est pas? But there can't be much inter-generational baggage weighing down the Marsalis household, at least judging by the music they make together. When the pater familias sits down for a session with the next-gen, the proceedings come across as relaxed and comfy, positively Huxtable-ish in every way. Here father and son linger lovingly over every nook and cranny in David Raksin's bittersweet melody. There is some nice give-and-take between the two players: Ellis goes for the young and modern approach, while Branford takes the mature and stately role. Or is it the other way around? In any event, no one is trying to put Ornette and Cecil out of business here. All in all, this is a fine track and a reminder of how the baton should be passed from generation to generation.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia