Wynton Marsalis (trumpeter) and Branford Marsalis (saxophonist) are two of the most celebrated artists in jazz history, and in Wynton’s case the accolades and awards are in the classical field as well.
But there is a third brother, Delfeayo Marsalis (trombonist), about whom much less is heard. That is strange since he, too, is very talented, makes albums, headlines concerts, etc. I wonder if he ever feels under-appreciated.
In addition, Delfeayo founded the Uptown Music Theatre in 2000, in his native New Orleans, which trains youth and presents musicals that always have unity in the community as the foundation.
At 44, Delfeayo is the youngest of the three. Branford is 49 and Wynton is 48. (Wynton always seemed older.) There are two other Marsalis brothers, Jason and Ellis III, who are not in the music business. Their father, Ellis Marsalis Jr., is an accomplished and highly respected jazz pianist.
ANITA BAKER, in her long career, has done many things, including winning more than a dozen Grammy Awards, but she has never had a live album. It is reported that her next release, to become available in 2010, will be a live set.
Yours truly has been very fond of many of Baker’s hits, especially “Giving You the Best That I Got” and “Caught Up in the Rapture,” but my all-time favorite is her first single as a solo artist (after leaving Chapter 8), “No More Tears.”
Speaking of collaborations, plans are in the works for two legendary groups, Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago, to record together. That should be interesting. Hopefully, founder Maurice White (who sang lead on the overwhelming majority of the EWF hits) will be participating. He stopped traveling with the group in 1995 for health reasons.
BEYONCE always has something new going on. As you have probably heard by now, her first network TV special, “Beyoncé — I AM…Yours,” will air on ABC on Thanksgiving night. It will not be performances only. The special will also give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at producing a television special, etc.
I love Beyoncé, but there are those (especially Black females) who say she is overexposed. (“She’s everywhere!” complained one of my former coworkers.).
Actually, they are correct. But, on the other hand, as the old saying goes, you have to “get it while the gettin’ is good.” Or as Paul McCartney put it, “you’ve got to get it just in case it doesn’t come around again.”
The bottom line is that Beyoncé knows how to work it.
ROBIN THICKE and his wife, actress Paula Patton, are expecting their fist child next year. This couple, who were married in 2005 and had been high school sweethearts many years before, prove that ethnicity means little, if anything, compared to two people being in love.
The legendary Isley Brothers, some people forget or never knew, were with Motown from 1965 to 1969. They made a number of fine recordings there, scoring their biggest hit with “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You).”
There is now a two-CD set titled “The Isley Brothers: The Motown Anthology” that covers that period and comes with a 12-page booklet. It is an import and can be purchased via amazon.com.
Mary J. Blige has a new album coming soon (Nov. 24) titled “Stronger.”
A reporter asked famed celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz which stars were the most difficult to work with. She said it was people who have been in show business their entire lives, because, as she put it, “they have no sense of reality.”
That wasn’t a put-down. Just the truth. She mentioned Michael Jackson and Sammy Davis Jr. by name.
As I was getting ready to write this column, one of the city’s fairly well known ministers walked into the office. When someone asked him how he was doing, he said he was “blessed and favored.”
I hate it when church people say they are “favored,” “the saints” or “God’s people.” It strongly implies a relationship with the Creator other people do not have, thus somehow making them better. The truth is, God loves everybody the same.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW ….that Grace Jones’ last name is actually Mendoza.
MEMORIES: “Love, Need and Want You” (Patti LaBelle), “I’ll Be Good to You” (the Brothers Johnson), “Through the Fire” (Chaka Khan), “When Love Calls” (Atlantic Starr), “There It is” (Tyrone Davis), Muscles” (Diana Ross), “I Need Your Lovin’” (Teena Marie),