The Ever Fonky Lowdown

The Ever Fonky Lowdown

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This recording is only available as an MP3 or hi-res WAV digital download.

Access the digital booklet and liner notes

“You really just want to be entertained,” says Mr. Game, the sly hustler-narrator played by acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce (The WireTreme, Jack Ryan) who presides over Wynton Marsalis’s new masterpiece The Ever Fonky Lowdown. Combining droll commentary with soulful, big band-backed vocals, the Lowdown is definitely entertaining—but it also brilliantly reveals Marsalis’s incisive, panoramic view of modern society.

Featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guest vocals from Camille Thurman, Ashley Pezzotti, Christie Dashiell, and Doug Wamble, the 
Lowdown is a funky jazz parable for 2020. It covers terrain from football to politics, from power to poverty, from love and romance to betrayal and corruption; it will make you dance and think. The Ever Fonky Lowdown is a horn-fueled survey of the political malaise and cultural decay now plaguing America—and how Marsalis suggests we might be able to rise above the structures that have been holding us back for centuries.


Track listing

  1. We Are the Greatest (Instrumental)
  2. Mr. Game Speaks: I Am a Winner
  3. We Are the Greatest 
  4. Mr. Game: Success Is My Middle Name
  5. They/Let’s Call Them This 
  6. Mr. Game: Beware! They’re Going to Cause Problems
  7. The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 4
  8. Mr. Game: Talk Is a Waste of Time
  9. I Don’t Like Nobody but Myself
  10. Mr. Game: We Must Strike First! (Trust Me)
  11. The Drums of War
  12. Mr. Game: The Mandates of Our Democracy
  13. Consideration Blues/I Know I Must Fight/The Drums of War Return
  14. Mr. Game: Who Is We?
  15. What Would the Savior Think?
  16. Mr. Game: Winners Don’t Reflect, We Celebrate
  17. Some for Me, None for You
  18. Mr. Game: We’re Number One!
  19. The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 5
  20. Mr. Game: They Deserved Everything They Got
  21. Night Trader
  22. Mr. Game: They, Too, Want to Be Winners
  23. Mr. Good Time Man
  24. Mr. Game: Shame Is for Losers
  25. Because I Want to, Because I Like to, Because I Can
  26. Mr. Game: A Ridiculous Plea
  27. I Wants My Ice Cream 
  28. Mr. Game: Somebody’s Got to Rule
  29. The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 6
  30. Reprise: What Would the Savior Think?
  31. The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 5 & 6
  32. Mr. Game: Your First Prize
  33. Isms, Schisms
  34. Mr. Game: Your Second Prize
  35. Yes/No
  36. Where Has the Love Gone?
  37. Mr. Game: Your Third Prize
  38. Consider This ‘Bout the Filth We Love
  39. Mr. Game: Your Fourth Prize
  40. Everybody Wear They Mask
  41. Mr. Game: You Love These Prizes Because You Live Them
  42. The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 7
  43. Mr. Game: Your Wildcard
  44. I Got a Nagging Feeling
  45. Mr. Game: The Freedom Fighter: Fannie Lou Hamer
  46. The Ballad of Fannie Lou: Part 1
  47. The Ballad of Fannie Lou: Part 2 
  48. Mr. Game: Just Let the Memories of Them Die
  49. Why Do We Pick Slavery over Freedom?
  50. Mr. Game: Your Last Prize (The Best One)
  51. Reprise: The Ever Fonky Lowdown in 4 
  52. Reprise: I Wants My Ice Cream
  53. I Know I Must Fight 




Sherman Irby – alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, and piccolo
Ted Nash – alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, and piccolo
Victor Goines – tenor and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, and clarinet
 †Walter Blanding – tenor saxophone
*Dan Block – tenor and soprano saxophones and clarinet
Paul Nedzela – baritone saxophone and Bb and bass clarinets


Ryan Kisor
Marcus Printup
Kenny Rampton
Wynton Marsalis


Vincent Gardner – trombone and sousaphone
Chris Crenshaw
Elliot Mason


Doug Wamble – guitar and vocals
Dan Nimmer – piano
Carlos Henriquez – bass
Jason Marsalis – drums and tambourine


Camille Thurman vocals
Ashley Pezzotti vocals
Christie Dashiell vocals
Ricky “Dirty Red” Gordon – percussion
>Bobby Allende – percussion


Additional performances from:
Sam Chess – trombone (track 7)
Adam Birnbaum – piano (tracks 7, 35, 42, 51)
Charles Goold – drums (track 35)


†Did not perform at this recording session  


“A particularly important album in the moment that we find ourselves in...I recommend it highly. When everything is in teams - Democrats and Republicans, Blue and Red, Black and White - [Wynton] is pushing against that in this atmosphere.” - Bill Maher on Real Time with Bill Maher

“An amazing record that speaks to our moment. A wonderfully cohesive album that is riveting from front to back.” - Jazziz

“Best Wynton record in years. Is America ready for the wit and knowingness of Wynton's very own Fables of Faubus?" - Marlbank

“...Lowdown is an unmistakable call to what Marsalis has repeatedly called for acuity to recognize ‘what is going on.’”- London Jazz