A first listen to his upcoming album featuring his Vibes Quartet, "In a World of Mallets."

Cover art for Jason Marsalis' "In a World of Mallets"

On February 19, Jason Marsalis returns with his Vibes Quartet and In a World of Mallets, a new album on Basin Street Records. Here's a preview, "Blues Can Be Abstract, Too." In the liner notes, he explains that the song "is dedicated to all the musicians and music students who believe that blues is a primitive old form in which no modern music can be explored." It's a lively musical continuation of the conversation he started about the nature of contemporary jazz when he half-jokingly anatomized the "jazz nerd" in 2010 on video and in print

The album is bracketed by two more of Marsalis' "Discipline" compositions - percussion-oriented tracks on which he overdubs multiple parts to accompany himself - and includes compositions by the members of his quartet - David Potter, Austin Johnson and Will Goble - as well as pieces by Brian Coogan, Bobby Hutcherson and Hermeto Pascoal.