Jason Marsalis is the youngest member of the illustrious Marsalis clan, but his accomplishments would make fitting laurels for an octogenarian. A drummer who established his career on the red-hot New Orleans jazz scene, he spent more than a decade in the Marcus Roberts Trio, one of jazz’s most accomplished and stylistically encompassing ensembles, and co-founded the Afro-Caribbean jazz combo Los Hombres Calientes with percussionist Bill Summers and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield.
In recent years he’s concentrated on the vibraphone, launching the beautifully calibrated quartet featured on his newest album 21st Century Trad Band (and at this concert). The quartet explores a vast range of material, including compositions by Bobby Hutcherson and Hermeto Pascoal, as well as some originals. The quartet plays with the dynamic control and precision of a chamber ensemble and at the same time, with bluesy authority and improvisational firepower.
"Listeners often think of Jason Marsalis first as Wynton Marsalis' younger brother and second as a New Orleans drummer. But like his siblings – including saxophonist Branford and trombonist Delfeayo – Jason stands as a first-rate musician-bandleader in his own right. He also happens to be a fine vibraphonist, as he reaffirmed Thursday night at the Jazz Showcase. Leading the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet...evoking a legendary ensemble that's clearly a model for him: the Modern Jazz Quartet. - Howard Reich-chicagotribune.com