SFist recently sat down with Marsalis for our first-ever email interview.
Q. First off, did you have anything to do with the fact that the top view of the "Braggtgown" CD looks like an old 45 rpm record? If so, where did the idea
come from? (I like it.)
A. Our art director, Arnold Levine, did that. It is in all of our recordings, not just "Braggtown."
Q. A common backstory for many musicians is that their parents had had high hopes for them to become a doctor/scientist/lawyer/anything-but-a-musician, but they were drawn to music and pursued their passion, in spite of their parents' wishes.
A. My father is a musician, so that thesis goes out of the window. Both of our parents stressed thought over conformity. Even if I was not a musician, my choices
would be based on the intellectual challenge the profession poses.
Q. Many of the songs on "Braggtown" -- even the relatively uptempto "Blakzilla" -- feel somewhat melancholy. Was that by design or just a coincidence
of the selection?
A. Melancholy is my preferred emotion on my songs. It took me so long to learn how to do it, that I'm going to get as much out of it as I can. My relationship
with that emotion has made me a much happier person.
By Karen S., contributing