Ellis Marsalis, What Was the First Album You Ever Bought?


“Well there weren’t really albums back then. There were the album collections of 78s, but I didn’t buy those.

“Mostly what I did was to buy single 78 RPM records of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins. And what they used to call the All Stars, which was really the same players … Max (Roach) would be the bandleader one time; Charlie Parker would be the bandleader one time; Dizzy would be the bandleader… but it would all be the same guys. I bought those 78s when they came out. But at that time I don’t think they were even thinking of making albums of bebop, just single 78s.

“I think eventually I did buy a Nat Cole album of 78s.

“And I remember that they used to make 10-inch LPs, which didn’t last too long. I had a 10-inch LP of Charlie Parker with strings. And I also had one of Red Norvo … Norvo, (Charles) Mingus and Tal Farlow.

“But not long after that, everything came out on 12-inch vinyl, and I bought a lot of those. My mother used to think that I was crazy spending money on long-playing records.”

Ellis Marsalis – veteran pianist and patriarch of the legendary New Orleans Marsalis clan – teams up with his son, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, to headline the Bridge Jazz Festival’s closing night at the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts in Albany on Saturday (February 27). Also on the bill are the 11-piece No BS! Brass Band and Local 518 faves the Arch Stanton Quartet. Showtime is 7pm, and tickets are $40; $30 students. The Bridge Jazz Festival kicks off at 7:30pm on Friday (February 26) with performances by Nnenna Freelon, Pierre Bensusan and the Tim Olsen/Eric Walentowicz Duo at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy. Tickets are $28, $36 & $42. GO HERE to win a pair of FREE tickets to both nights of the fest…

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