I saw this great quartet yesterday (though with a different bassist) and I was blown away by this great, 20 year old drummer, Justin Faulkner. This footage is from 2009, at the ‘Sous Les Pommiers Jazz Festival’.
From the Marsalis website: “I was attracted to his natural understanding of how to play jazz, especially in the left hand, which many professionals 10 years his senior seem not to have grasped.”, Marsalis explained via e-mail. “I first heard him playing with a high school band that was, admittedly, not too good. But I was surprised at his ability to keep time and swing, and not try to call attention to himself.”
A few weeks later, Faulkner received his first call to sit in with the band, and earlier this year the spot became his on a permanent basis. His first show was on his 18th birthday, and the tour wrapped up just in time for him to make it to prom and graduation.
Marsalis shrugged off any doubts about Faulkner’s age. “I have not qualms with age,” he said. “Just maturity. I’ve played with musicians who are much older yet behave much younger on an emotional level. Mature young players have a desire to learn, and they bring instant energy to a bunch of old fogies like us.” Flexing his chops onstage every night but still getting back to the hotel in time to finish his homework was a difficult balance to maintain, but his experience have matured him, Faulkner said.
“People always paid attention because of my age, but I always had to think of myself not just as the 13-year-kid who everybody’s going to treat nicely. Being in this business, I’ve been around adults for the majority of my life. That totally changed my thinking about my playing and the way that I handle myself in the company of others.”
Branford Marsalis - Tenor Saxophone Joey Calderazzo - Piano Eric Revis - Bass Justin Faulkner - Drums