Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

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Album Review

Branford Marsalis Quartet: Four MFs Playin' Tunes

Read "Four MFs Playin' Tunes" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has always exhibited a straight-to-the-point attitude in his deeds and musical actions, so the title for his latest quartet date shouldn't come as a great shock. His choice of words matter-of-factly proclaims that this music isn't about highbrow ideals, umbrella themes or hyper-intellectual constructs; this is about four musicians making music and serving the songs. Jazz aficionados know that his albums are almost always a sure bet for brilliance, but fans of this highly ...

7

Album Review

Branford Marsalis Quartet: Four MFs Playin' Tunes

Read "Four MFs Playin' Tunes" reviewed by Mark F. Turner


The departure of the Branford Marsalis quartet's longtime drummer, Jeff “Tain" Watts, left a hole that would not easily be filled and subsequently sparked the excellent 2011 duo release Songs of Mirth and Melancholy (Marsalis Music) featuring Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo. But that percussive void has been filled with a transfusion of new blood from the sizzling drums of Justin Faulkner who joined the band in 2009 aged 18. With the attention grabbing title and a fresh outlook, the ...

167

Album Review

Harry Connick, Jr.: Music From The Happy Elf

Read "Music From The Happy Elf" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


"The Happy Elf" is just one of many numbers that Harry Connick, Jr. dished out on Harry For The Holidays (Sony/Columbia, 2003), but this particular song proved to be the seed for cross-marketing manna, which makes it a microcosm of the man himself. Connick has crooned his way into the hearts of millions, proven himself on piano time and again, conquered the silver screen, and taken Broadway by storm, but his most heartwarming talent may be that of “children's entertainer." ...

206

Album Review

Miguel Zenon: Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook

Read "Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The cover photo on alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón's Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook is of two people dancing in the middle of a boulevard. They are nicely dressed. The man's coat tail flies and their dance clasp is a passionate embrace, suggestive of a romantic yearning hitched to the side of a good time, a posture suggesting a sense of pride and dignity. And that's what the music on this release is, in large part, all about.On ...

161

Album Review

Branford Marsalis / Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Read "Songs of Mirth and Melancholy" reviewed by Mark F. Turner


The Swedish proverb “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow," is one that perfectly exemplifies Songs of Mirth and Melancholy, from saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo. Their bond has solidified over time, since Calderazzo took over the piano chair from the late Kenny Kirkland in Marsalis' ensemble in 1998. While Kirkland's talent can never be replaced, Calderazzo has proven his own deep abilities as a vital member of the band--and in his own ...

326

Album Review

Miguel Zenon: Esta Plena

Read "Esta Plena" reviewed by David Adler


Like a nimble jet aircraft, Miguel Zenón's Esta Plena leaps into flight from its very first notes. The album arrives not long after Awake (Marsalis Music, 2008), Zenón's jazz quartet/string quartet outing of 2008, but it follows more logically on the heels of 2005's Jíbaro (Marsalis Music), a jazz meditation on the rural music of Zenón's native Puerto Rico. Esta Plena, different but related, finds the alto saxophonist melding authentic plena music with the forward-thinking jazz aesthetic he's developed as ...

399

Album Review

Miguel Zenon: Esta Plena

Read "Esta Plena" reviewed by Mark F. Turner


From the fruits of winning both a MacArthur ("genius grant") and Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, expands his clear vision of modern jazz and Puerto Rican folk music in Esta Plena. With an incisive voice, his involvement with the SFJAZZ Collective, Guillermo Klein's Y Los Gauchos and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra is well documented, but his own recordings are what truly reflect his unique heritage and identity. Where Zenón's Jibaro (Marsalis Music, 2005) ...


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