Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
ENOUGH ENERGY FOR A FOOTBALL TEAM
ON THE ROAD WITH HIS BAND IN 1991, Wynton Marsalis would spend his days giving master classes and meeting fans and his evenings performing. Afterward he would retire to his room to compose, producing Citi Movement in about a month. "I've always liked that pace. It's not a strain," says Marsalis, 31, in his sunny Manhattan apartment overlooking the Hudson River. Books, magazines, trumpets and a football lie about. "I'm interested in a lot of stuff. I like all kinds of art. I like sports. And I get into whatever the people I'm with are interested in." He enjoys bright, lively people and connects with them wherever he goes. "I once spent a week in Washington, D.C.," he says, "and at the end the hotel operator called me and said, 'You win the prize. You got about 500 messages.' Almost none of it was business. It was people I know at Howard University, Duke Ellington High School and in the area. People come from far away to hear us. They take us into their homes. We meet a lot of voting musicians we stay in touch with. The fun of the road is that every day is a homecoming.
"We in the band always say how fortunate we are, first to be playing jazz and then to be playing with each other. I always tell my students what my daddy told me: People who play for applause, that's all they hear. Music has a deeply spiritual component, and it doesn't reveal itself to you unless you prove that you really want to have that level of dialogue with it. Miss that opportunity, you have to pay some dues before it comes around again."