Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Marsalis - Love Songs, Ballads and Standards
Written by Edward F. Nesta   

Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Marsalis - Love Songs, Ballads and StandardsThe extraordinary release from Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Marsalis - Love Songs, Ballads and Standards brings together two musicians from different eras to cover  a compilation of songs from various genres and moments in time.  


Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Mayfield - Love Songs, Ballads adn Standards

Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Marsalis - Love Songs, Ballads and Standards  

Love Songs, Ballads and Standards: Yesterday, Superstar, Romeo and Juliet, My One and Only Love, Mo' Betta Blues, Round Midnight, Don't Know Why, In a Sentimental Mood, Come Rain or Shine, Like a Star, Blame It On the Sun, A House is Not a Home, You and I, Yesterday           

Personnel: Irvin Mayfield: Trumpet; Ellis Marsalis: Piano; Neal Caine: Bass; Jaz Sawyer: Drums; Louisiana Philharmonic: Orchestra

Love Songs, Ballads and Standards was produced by Irvin Mayfield on the Basin Street Records label. The historical and emotional elements of this release alone would make it a collector's item, add in the musical genius that is Ellis Marsalis and Irvin Mayfield and you have a release that every jazz aficionado will want to have in their collection. Love Songs, Ballads and Standards is dedicated to Irvin Mayfield's father and other victims who passed away as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The early sessions were lost as a result of Hurricane Katrina, but thanks to Irvin's iPod, where he had a copy of the original mixes, they were able to bring us these treasures. From the historical perspective, this is the first recording that Ellis Marsalis has done without a family member.

Love Songs, Ballads and Standards is two musicians from different eras, the student, Irvin, finally playing with the teacher, Ellis, with the love and respect for music as their motivation throughout the release; the student has learned very well, and the teacher has communicated his passion. The lead track Yesterday is a critically acclaimed song that reflected the change that music went through during the 60s. Though, as noted on the liner notes, Yesterday has been relegated to background elevator music, but through Ellis and Irvin's arrangement they bring out the subtle and extraordinary elements that had made this song so endearing for over 40 years.    

From the standards such as Come Rain or Come Shine, In a Sentimental Mood, and Round Midnight to the relatively new release Like a Star, they show that no matter what the genre or era that a song comes from it should bring out the best in you when playing or when listening. The track Romeo and Juliet, written by Irvin, highlights Ellis' talent of playing ballads, as Irvin notes, "His intros are like the beginning of great novels, the accompaniment is like a lush oil painting, his endings like final lines of a poem." There are playful moments on the track Mo' Betta Blues, which is what you would expect with this arrangement, emotion on the track Round Midnight, and that sassy Nora Jones style on the cover of Don't Know Why.

Throughout the release there is a strong interplay that ranges from a musical challenge, to the harmonic blending of two distinct instruments, to the give and take as they exchange playing lead and backing with the sleight of hand of a magician. If a release can be termed elegant, than Love Songs, Ballads and Standards is elegance personified.    

Websites where you can procure Irvin Mayfield and Ellis Marsalis - Love Songs, Ballads and Standards are Basin Street Records,, Townsend Records, Rhapsody, and J&R.

© October 2008. Luxury Experience. All rights reserved.