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Friday, December 11, 2009

What to Do Tonight: Jason Marsalis

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 8:16 AM

In The Godfather Part 2, Michael Corleone commiserates with brother Fredo about life in the shadow of a feted father. Imagine having not only a parent but also three brothers to “compete” with. That’s jazz vibes player and drummer Jason Marsalis’ predicament: Pianist-father Ellis is a New Orleans legend, brothers Wynton and Branford are superstars, and trombonist Delfeayo is a formidable up-and-comer. By the sound of Jason’s third album, Music Update, he has nothing to worry about. Nearly all of its 13 tracks are originals, dazzling exemplars of succinctness, invention, drollery and swing. On vibraphone (cousin to the xylophone), Jason has a supple, crystalline tone and never uses a barrage of notes when select, smartly placed ones will suffice. There are solo drumming interludes displaying New Orleans’ unique cadences, crackling and very nearly melodic. Creative and immediate, Marsalis has got it sewn up. His quartet performs at 10 p.m. at Nighttown (12383 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216.795.0550, nighttowncleveland.com). Tickets: $20. — Mark Keresman

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