Delfeayo Marsalis: Pontius Pilate’s Decision

The Songs:

  1. Pontius Pilate’s Decision
  2. Adam’s Ecstasy; Eve’s Delight
  3. Barabbas
  4. The Weary Ways Of Mary Magdalene
  5. Nicodemus
  6. Son Of The Virgin Mary
  7. Reverent Judas Iscariot
  8. Simon’s Journey
  9. The Last Supper
  10. The Crucifixion
Personnel:
  • Delfeayo Marsalis – trombone
  • Branford Marsalis – soprano saxophone (Tracks 2, 5-6, 9 -10)
  • Wessell Anderson – alto & sopranino saxophone (Tracks 3, 8, 10)
  • Mark Gross – alto saxophone (Tracks 4, 9-10)
  • Joshua Redman – tenor saxophone (Track 1)
  • Mark “Nat” Turner – tenor saxophone (Tracks 4, 7-10)
  • Scotty Barnhart – trumpet (Tracks 3, 9-10)
  • Wynton Marsalis – trumpet (Tracks 4-5)
  • Victor “Red” Atkins – piano (Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7-8)
  • Kenny Kirkland – piano (Tracks 2, 8,)
  • Marcus Roberts – piano (Tracks 4, 6)
  • Chris Thomas – bass (Track 1)
  • Robert Hurst – bass (Tracks 2-3, 6-10)
  • Reginald Veal – bass (Tracks 4-5)
  • Jason Marsalis – drums (Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7-8)
  • Jeff “Tain” Watts – drums (Tracks 2, 6, 10)
  • Herlin Riley – drums (Track 4)
  • Kimati Dinizulu – percussion (Track 10)

Delfeayo Marsalis is the fourth son of New Orleans jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis. He made his debut recording as a leader in 1992 with Pontius Pilate’s Decision, an album that featured his more famous older brothers, Branford and Wynton, as well as his youngest brother Jason on drums, (who was only 14 at the time of this recording). Delfeayo is better known as a record producer and engineer, especially of his brothers’ albums, and has released only a handful of recordings over the last 20 years. Despite that, his skill as a composer and trombonist are first-rate, as this album demonstrates.

Pontius Pilate’s Decision is a solid hard bop outing featuring all original compositions, based on Biblical events and characters, mostly drawn from the Gospel narratives of Holy Week. In addition to his brothers, the album provides ample solo space for a number of the usual Marsalis family sidemen, including the late Kenny Kirkland, Marcus Roberts, Wessell Anderson, Robert Hurst, and Jeff “Tain” Watts. Highlights include the title track with Joshua Redman on tenor and “The Weary Ways of Mary Magdalene” with brother Wynton’s scorching trumpet solo. (Buy it here.)

Suggested Reading:

Antoinette Handy. Jazz Man’s Journey: A Biography Of Ellis Louis Marsalis, Jr.

Suggested Viewing:

The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration

Advertisements