As one of the lesser-known members of the loved-and-hated Marsalis jazz clan, Delfeayo Marsalis, is still introducing audiences to his craft. Whereas his brothers Wynton and Branford have spent their careers in the spotlight, Delfeayo has spent his behind the mixing board. He’s worked as a producer on over 75 albums, pioneering a return to a more acoustic sound by recording the bass live rather than through a pickup.
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t play a nasty trombone. Because without any doubt, Delfeayo Marsalis is a master on his horn, boasting a smooth, low-register sound. This year, he put out a recording called Sweet Thunder: Duke and Shak, a reworking of the 1957 Duke Ellington suite Such Sweet Thunder. It’s one of only five albums he’s released as a band leader in the last 20 years.
This recording isn’t off that album however. “Eastern Standard Time” is an unreleased tune boasting a funky New Orleans groove and some seriously sweet soloing by Marsalis and his pianist. Marsalis never goes very off-script harmonically, but what he lacks in modern jazz adventurousness he makes up for in soul, style and swing.
At Symphony Space on Monday, Delfeayo Marsalis appears as part of a program celebrating the music of New Orleans legend Sideny Bechet. The band includes Olivier Franc, playing Bechet’s own sax, as well as guitar maestro Bucky Pizzarelli.