NEA Jazz Masters Delfeayo, Ellis and Jason Marsalis perform selections from Delfeayo's upcoming release The Last Southern Gentlemen.
The Last Southern Gentlemen is a landmark recording for Delfeayo Marsalis. It pairs the trombonist with his father Ellis Marsalis, Jr. on a collaborative album for the first time.
Built on the intimacy of ballads and the blues, while embracing grooves and up-tempo forays, The Last Southern Gentlemen is the sound of classic jazz played by master musicians – relaxed, thoughtful and provocative; paying tribute to the Southern lifestyle that birthed America’s original music.
In January 2011, the Marsalis family (father Ellis and brothers Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason) earned the nation’s highest jazz honor – a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.
In Their Own Words
Delfeayo Marsalis is one of the top trombonists, composers and producers in jazz today. Born in New Orleans, Marsalis was destined to a life in music. “I remember my dad playing piano at the house, and me laying underneath the piano as a child, listening to him play.”
“My father’s first principle is, ‘You don’t know unless you know,’” says Wynton Marsalis. “Don’t assume anything without first-hand experience…He always gets you to question what you know. He stresses that there’s no right or wrong way to hear. He’d guide you in a direction, but he wouldn’t tell you what to do. He gave you the opportunity to figure out your own thing.”
Ellis’ theory is that “jazz is about the art of discovery. Not discovery in terms of guesswork. You give a person a certain amount of information, and…from that point, they begin to make decisions about that information. All you really need is the spirit of adventure, applied to the music that is being presented to you.”