Delfeayo Marsalis

Pontius Pilate's Decision

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Delfeayo Marsalis' long-delayed debut as a leader on record features the young trombonist on ten of his originals. One should ignore the religious titles and the drawings in the liner notes and enjoy the music for what it is: advanced hard bop. Marsalis' idol is J.J. Johnson and his trombone playing is similar to Johnson's style. Among the many artists who make appearances on this set are tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman (for the opening title cut); trumpeter Scotty Barnhart; brothers Branford (soprano on five numbers), Jason (who at the time was a brilliant 14-year-old drummer), and Wynton (whose highly expressive trumpet solo on "The Weary Ways of Mary Magdalene" is one of the high points of his career); and various sidemen from the Marsalis bands. Delfeayo, who has mostly worked as a record producer, is now overdue for an encore.

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