Sax player Branford Marsalis has a restless, creative heart. He has performed with Sting and the Grateful Dead, led the Tonight Show band and is an acclaimed jazz musician. But it’s with his loosely knit outfit Buckshot LeFonque (a pseudonym used by the late jazz great Cannonball Adderley) that Marsalis seems to have the most fun. Buckshot’s sound is all over the map—precisely Marsalis’s MO.
With the help of like-minded friends like Gang Starr’s rapper G.U.R.U., David Sanborn and actor Laurence Fishburne, whose sonorous speaking tones anchor the grinding funk of “My Way (Doin’ It),” Marsalis throws together jazz, drum and bass, samba, rock, R&B and a few mutations that fall in between. The end result is a sonic explosion that, even when it falters, is infused with the joy of playing. (Columbia)