Wynton’s Blog

Ellis Marsalis playing “In The Afterglow”

Ellis and Wynton Marsalis (photo: Luigi Beverelli)

It’s been a year since our father passed. This morning my brother Jason sent this clip of him remembering a ballad I wrote waaay back in 1985 (when I was 24). It was my first attempt to write something with a sophisticated chord progression and melody. Because one of my father’s early ballads is called “After”, I called this “In the afterglow”. I always teased my father about the meaning of his song by asking “After what?”.

After hearing mine, he called me and said, “Yeah man, I see you trying to write an actual song. Haha. It’s not bad…..not bad at all.” And then he played it (he had learned it off of the recording because I had the only copy of the sheet music) and went on to analyze the progression and the melody with some comments of critique and cosignature. He made me feel ten feet high. Here he is remembering it some 30 years later (I don’t know how he remembered that much).

As this year unfolds, I know so many people are missing loved ones that they have lost. You are not alone. This is Big E playing for Jason.


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