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Branford Goes South as New CD Hits

Branford Marsalis is from the South, and he’s returning to the South. No, the New Orleans native and soon-to-be-former New York resident isn’t moving back to Crescent City but rather to that hotbed of jazz, Durham, N.C. Well, Nnenna Freelon lives in Durham, and she’s pretty hot. Yes, she’s beautiful, but she’s a hot singer as well. Her new album, Tales of Wonder (Concord), is going to be a smash, which is why JazzTimes is running a feature on her in the October issue. Anyhoo, that Branford guy…

The move to Durham, in the Treyburn subdivision, is the Grammy Award-winning saxophonist’s second big life change this year: he left his longtime label, Columbia, to form his own, Marsalis Music, which released his striking new CD, Footsteps of Our Fathers, which combines Sonny Rollins’ “Freedom Suite” and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” to form a powerful tribute to his forbearers on the tenor.

Marsalis, who turns 42 on Aug. 26, told Freelon, who told the Associated Press, “He was tired of [New York]. But he said he’s moving [to Durham], and I told him it’s a great place to live.”

It’s only a matter of time before dedicated basketball fan Marsalis dons the colors of the Duke University Blue Devils.

Originally Published