So, Mr. Marsalis has clarified his point in an essay you can, and should, read here.
I have to say, that I agree with most of what he has to say. It's a shame that the rave that was uploaded was such a mis-representation. He really shouldn't have been at all surprised that a Marsalis raving about the state of Jazz today received so much attention.
As I mentioned in my original post, and Marsalis clarifies in this essay, the main issue is not odd-times, or whether the music is straight or swung, the main issue is about knowledge of a broad range of the history of music. Marsalis says:
"There’s information in Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Louis Jordan, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Cecil Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Weather Report, Michael Jackson, Public Enemy, Genesis, Nirvana, Common, John Legend, just to name a few."
Personally, I agree with the notion of listening to music as diverse as this, so that you can be better informed in creating music.
Another interesting point here, though, is that I know musicians who are influenced by (comparatively) very few musicians, and make music that is just as strong, considered and powerful as anyone else.
Here we stumble into the debate, which many students seem to ask themselves, of "when do I just start to concentrate on developing my own thing?". This really a question without an answer, and one that borders on the irrelevant. You, simply, just do what you want to do, work on what you want to work on. If you're doing something you don't feel like doing, stop doing it. Back to the topic at hand though....
In his conclusion Marsalis makes two points. The first brings into the equation his personal bias. It has a place (he is a performing musician after all), but in as essay that seems to have been conceived to produce a kind of clearing-up-of-an-argument effect, it sticks out as unnecessary, and, similarly to the orginal video, political in motivation.
The second point he makes is that there needs to be an overhaul of the music education system. I'm sure it's more pronounced in the home of Jazz than here in Australia, and this is really a discussion for another time....