Waterfalls

Here’s a 15-bar blues by a young Wynton Marsalis.  It can be heard on Keystone 3, one of my favorite Art Blakey albums, recorded live in 1982.  The set finds Blakey returning to the Keystone Korner in San Francisco just a few years after recording there with a totally different band.  Along with Wynton, this lineup features Charles Fambrough on bass, Donald Brown on piano, Bill Pierce on tenor sax and Branford Marsalis on alto.

“Waterfalls” is a great vehicle for Blakey, who loved to juxtapose 12/8 rhythms over swing.  He plays with as much fire at age 63 as he did at 23, and it’s a shame he doesn’t solo on the tune.  He does up the ante during the solos by doubling the dotted quarter to break into burning 4/4 swing.

 

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