Music Review

Book Reviews and Reading Diary
CD Buying Guide and Music Links
Best-of lists
CD Reviews
CDs, sorted by Style
CDs, sorted by year issued
CDs, sorted by publication review ran in
CDs by San Diego bands
All CDs, sorted by band name
All CDs, sorted by album title
Favorite quotations
Contact Me

Late night with Marsalis and Wolff

By Branford Marsalis

Columbia Records: 1993

Buy it on CD now from
Buy it now

Michael Wolff
Michael Wolff
By Michael Wolff

Columbia Records: 1993

Buy it on CD now from
Buy it now

These reviews first appeared in the July 30, 1993 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

The leaders of the respective studio bands for "The Tonight Show" and "The Arsenio Hall Show" have both released new albums, although neither Branford Marsalis' or Michael Wolff's releases are respresentative fo waht you hear their bands play on the shows.

Marsalis was well-known before he signed on as Jay Leno's musical director following the retirement of Johnny Carson. The saxophonist has put out a string of jazz albums under his own name, playled with his younger brother Wynton, and toured with rock/pop star Sting.

His new release is harder driving than past efforts, with a bit of an angry undercurrent and an intensity bordering on dissonance. It takes a little getting used to given his more melodic approach on most of his recordings.

Wolff's album is more ambitious. There's everything from straight-ahead jazz to Latin to Jamaican/Caribbean to R&B. Perhaps because the pianist wanders so much stylistically and doesn't have the kind of well-developed public musical personna Marsalis has, it's hard to know where Wolff's musical center is. Still, he answers one question: No matter the style, the guy can flat-out play.