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Branford

cannonballer

Member
Messages
38
Is it just me or is Branford a really boring player? Espeacially on alto, I feel like all his ideas are so generic. Rhythmically speaking, he is very unappealing to me. He either plays his solos in only 8th notes or trys to sound exactly like sonny rollins (extremely rhythem based) and just messes it up. I dont know, thats just my opinion.

Heres the video that inspired this rant: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld92el1Nsoo

After watchin it not one of his ideas stuck with me. I just dont get why everyone loves branford so much. from all the interviews that i have seen of him he sounds very stuck up and is almost always speaking in a negative way. i feel like he is not doing a whole lot for jazz music. maybe he would be a better critic than player...
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
And a bit of Wayne Shorter and Charlie Mingus rolled in there too! Okay in very small doses but I prefer Turrentine myself, bluesy and soulful :thumb:
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
Me personally, I didn't hear anything at all wrong with his playing. He looks as if he was enjoying himself.

Can you point out for me where he messed up?
But as you said, it's merely your own opinion.
 

cannonballer

Member
Messages
38
Dang i just typed out a really long explanation but for some reason my computer deleted it.

Anyways, I dont think he is doing anything technically wrong or is making any mistakes, but all i hear is a bunch of notes. None of his ideas are interesting to me. And sure, he was probably enjoying himself, but as I listener, I was not enjoying him.

I don't want to listen to somebody who doesnt knock my socks off and inspire me, and branford has never done that for me and I just dont understand what the appeal is for his fans...
 

Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
I think the answer is quite simple. Just don't listen to him anymore.
I really wouldn't bog myself down with questions like 'why do other people enjoy Branford Marsalis'.

Why are you trying to get into the heads of other listeners? That's not energy well spent.
 

cannonballer

Member
Messages
38
Why are you trying to get into the heads of other listeners? That's not energy well spent.
With all due respect, I disagree. I think that trying to get inside the head of other listeners is a very worthwhile thing to do. I am trying to understand what attracts so many people to his playing.

I want to play music that not only satisfies myself, but other people as well and I want to know what aspects of his playing made him so well known in the jazz world.
 
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Mike

Senior Member
Messages
559
What puzzles me is that you do not find anything to speak of concerning Branford Marsalis, right? So, why would you be interested in finding out why others enjoy his playing? How would that change your mind about his playing?
Shouldn't your own ears evaluation be enough?

It's a reasonable question.

You don't need validation from anyone other than your own ears to figure out what contribution Branford has made in the world of jazz.
 

altissimo

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,354
Can't say he knocks my socks off either - competent technically accurate hard bop - I'd rather listen to the guys who originated this style like Bird or Miles or Sonny Stitt or Jackie Maclean.
I think Branford's appeal lies partly in marketing - if you're on the cover of Downbeat and headlining festivals and got Stanley Crouch raving about you, then you must be good. If that sounds cynical, I've met plenty of people who think someone's amazing because that's what they've read in a music magazine. I've bought cd's on the basis of good reviews (and been disappointed)
I don't bother reading what the critics say anymore and trust my own ears
I've nothing against Branford, I'd rather listen to that than bland techno or formulaic manufactured pop, he just doesn't play anything that wasn't done better 55 years ago. And he's not the only one.
Don't waste your time trying to figure out what satisfies other people, you're a musician not a market researcher - just be true to yourself and play from your heart and people will relate to that. There's an audience out there somewhere for every kind of music, even unlistenable noise
play your instrument and be inspired - and create the best music you can
 

Rogerb

Member
Messages
764
As others have said, for me, he's technically extremely accomplished, but what he plays here leaves me uninspired.

I have no doubt that he speaks highly of me :cool:;}
 

XasGotan

Member
Messages
25
I am a Branford Marsalis fan but share Jake Botts' views on the video that inspired his "rant". In fact, I had only ever twice heard him on alto, once at a concert in the Frankfurt old Opera this year, where he played Debussy's Rapsody for Saxophone and in my view set new standards to classical sax playing, and once on an obscure video that you can find on YouTube searching for Branford Marsalis and St. Louis Blues, where he played with a Swedish trad jazz band and managed to fully replace the missing clarinet with his alto. I found this very impressive indeed. Finally, for a better video than the rant inspiring one, watch him on tenor in 2009 with the same people play "It don't mean a thing..." on YouTube, and for those who still are not convinced, I think there are still a few tickets left for Sonny Rollins coming to London in November. I have mine :)
 

Jules

Formerly known as "nachoman"
Messages
4,619
Branford produced some of the best pop/jazz soprano ever on Sting's "Dream's of the Blue Turtles" album, very lyrical playing. Also a couple of stonking good funk solos with Public Enemy.... Then again, he also provided me with one of my ultimate 'this is my problem with jazzers' recordings by accompanying John Lee Hooker on a 1980s recording and trying to play Bebop over a funerial one chord boogie- boy did that break the mood of the piece(the only jazzer who rose to the minimalism of Hooker was Miles Davis, who's film sound tracks with him were superbly atmospheric....check out "Spot"... excellent)!
 

cannonballer

Member
Messages
38
You're right Mike. Sorry for the post! I didnt mean to stir up any negative vibes.
 
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