Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet // The 21st Century Trad Band

Categories:  Music Reviews    Music
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 at 4:50 AM
Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet // The 21st Century Trad Band by

Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet

The 21st Century Trad Band

Basin Street Records

In separate interviews with this writer, Wynton and Branford Marsalis each made a point of saying “wait ‘til you hear Jason,” their younger brother. Well, with The 21st Century Trad Band, Jason’s second well-received CD (the first hit No. 1, the new one is at No. 7 on the jazzweek.com radio-play chart) the younger sibling seems to be living up to his brothers’ bragging. Jason began his career on drums before switching to vibraphone, on which he has become a skilled player, composer (all 12 songs here), and leader. On vibes, he has a sharp, high-energy sound that is exciting but sometimes jarring. A full-fledged mallet man, here he also plays a little marimba, xylophone, glockenspiel, and tubular bells. Jason leads an excellent band, ensemble and solo-wise, and with few exceptions, they shine on a creatively varied repertoire, ranging from interludes to extensive workouts, modern to old-timey, intense to downright cheerful, and hard-swinging to gentle (even pretty).   – Bob Protzman

Fall Out Boy

American Beauty/American Psycho

Island Records 

If Fall Out Boy wants to save rock ‘n’ roll, this is not the way to do it. This latest variant of the pop-punk mega-band seems to have embraced the pop and jettisoned the punk. Bands evolve over time, but there are so few real rockers with true star power influencing today’s Top 40-listening teeny boppers, that it is tragic when one of them sells out and becomes just another commercial dance band. This album is radio-friendly: The anthem “Centuries” has inundated the airwaves. No one will argue that singer Patrick Stump can’t belt out a tune with the best of them. And good Lord, does this collection have catchy hooks. The infectious “Uma Thurman” turns the theme song of TV’s The Munsters into a groovy, must-dance earworm. Gone, though, are the crunchy, driving guitars and capricious drum-kit work. And I miss them. Upon hearing this denouncement of her favorite band, the biggest FOB fan in my house berated me mockingly: “This isn’t your music. You don’t understand. They aren’t your generation.” Perhaps she’s right. Maybe I’m just too old to appreciate Fall Out Boy’s new, updated sound. – Bryan Toy

Erie Reader: Vol. 6, No. 22
Now Available — Pick It Up Today


HBO's newest series as viewed through the lens of the Serial Gamer

Your 2016 Election Day preview 

Curious creatures at home and abroad 

The dollars and sense of lakeshore wind power 

A meeting of the minds to move Erie forward