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In A World of Mallets

In A World of Mallets by Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet
Released: Feb 2013
Label: Basin Street
The drummer turned vibes-man has stirred up controversy, in very Marsalis fashion, by beefing with what he calls the "jazz nerd" tradition of our postmodern day. But thankfully, he proves a subtler musician than theoretician on this swinging and complex album. Marsalis' compositions "Ballet Class" and "Blues for the 29%ers" have enough twists to fill a professor's chalkboard, while "The Blues Can Be Abstract, Too" proves its own point -- even if Marsalis may be arguing against a straw man. (Who is saying the blues can't be abstract?) An ace band has his back, and also adds some fine originals.
Seth Colter Walls