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Ellis Marsalis

Biography

Though he recorded a few excellent Hard Bop and Post Bop albums in the 1950s and '60s, New Orleans native Ellis Marsalis only gained the respect he deserved when his sons Wynton and Branford (and later Delfeayo and Jason) achieved stardom in the '80s. With a terse and rhythmic piano style, Marsalis has a deep sense of all that came before him. That helps explains his success as a jazz educator: pianist/singer Harry Connick Jr. and trumpeters Nicholas Payton and Terence Blanchard are just some of his respected students. Many sessions feature Marsalis solo, covering bass, accompaniment and melody while he explores standards and originals with confidence and grace. From early works with the Adderley Brothers to later collaborations with his children, Marsalis has expanded the jazz repertoire not only with his own playing, but also through his profound effect on others.

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