Roberts made sure his longtime trio mates, bassist Rodney Jordan and drummer Jason Marsalis (the youngest brother in the musical clan from New Orleans), also got plentiful spotlights throughout the evening. Each player's ideas and instincts helped move the music's exploratory direction.
The first set was quite varied as they explored three Roberts original and four other gems from the jazz canon.The originals were "Cole After Midnight," his tip of the hat to Nat King Cole and Cole Porter; the hard-swinger "Perfect Timing"; and "Harvest Time" from his 1996 trio recording Time and Circumstance.
Marsalis got a center-stage solo spotlight, playing just his snare drum, on an original piece called "The One Drum Band." At one point, he had seven different rhythms going. After a trio romp through Thelonious Monk's "Blues Five Spot," Roberts treated the audience to a delicate solo piano version of Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss."
The evening was a lesson in how to draw in an audience with deeply varied individual and group dynamics: the music could shift from bold to the softest, lightest touch in a heartbeat, showcasing the material and the talents of its makers.
|Marsalis, Jordan, Roberts|
|The Marcus Roberts Trio at SBDAC|
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