Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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MARSALIS, Ellis

(b 14 November 1934, New Orleans LA) Pianist. Began on clarinet as a child; his celebrated local career as a teacher culminated as Director of Jazz Studies at the U. of New Orleans '89, as well as raising the famous clan, including Brandford (above) and Wynton (below). Apart from one side of a Columbia LP Fathers And Sons '82 (with Von and Chico Freeman on the other side) a quartet LP Syndrome '84 on Elm was his only commercial release as a leader, but his excellent playing, cultured yet robust, is now better represented on disc. A Night At Snug Harbor '89 on Evidence was made live with many guests including Art Blakey and Donald Harrison; solo Piani In E is on Rounder; Trio is on Blue Note with Bob Hurst and Jeff Watts. His debut on Columbia was a trio with Ray Brown and Billy Higgins, Heart Of Gold '91, but on Whistle Stop Hurst and Watts were back, with Branford and Jason Marsalis; Joe Cool's Blues '95 with Wynton is a treatment of Vince Guaraldi's music for the Peanuts cartoons, with Reginald Veal and Martin Butler on bass and drums. Loved Ones '96 has Branford.