Wynton Marsalis no longer has a jazz record label, and Branford Marsalis (pictured) has started his own. It could be considered a sign of the turmoil that the jazz business is facing right now that two of its biggest stars are without major-label homes, or it could just be that these musicians are tired of all the politics involved with corporate labels and have decided to go it alone. Either way, the Marsalis brothers aren’t slowing down: Wynton has a classical album, All Rise, out now, and Branford’s first release on Marsalis Music is his own Footsteps of Our Fathers. Plus, they are teaming up in late February 2003 to perform seven concerts together.
Branford is touring throughout the fall behind Footsteps, which is a primarily a tribute to Sonny Rollins’ “Freedom Suite” and John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” The saxophonist then takes a break from the road through December and January, resuming his concert schedule on February 17 in Naples, Florida, before he and Wynton join together February 23, 2003, in Ottawa, Ontario’s National Arts Centre Theatre for the first of seven historic shows together.