All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

373

Branford Marsalis: Eternal

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
It takes skill to perform a jazz ballad effectively. It's one thing to burn notes with rapid-fire precision, yet another to explore the intricacies of slower ones. Not only is the music a factor, but the dynamics of mood, style, and emotion also come into play. There have been many jazz ballad recordings and now one of today's foremost saxophonists, Branford Marsalis, gives his spin with Eternal.

Consisting of seven compositions with unique contributions from each member of Marsalis' longtime stellar quartet—pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts—the music is thought-provoking and performed with great clarity and life.

On some similarly themed recordings there has been at times an overshadowing sense of melancholia. This is not the case with Eternal, where each composition is translated differently with the commonality that Marsalis states: "All of the songs reflect the idea that there is beauty in sadness. Even sad songs sound happy when some people interpret them..."

The new contributions from each member of the quartet do indeed vary in mood and dimension. Watts' "Reika's Loss" has an atmospheric and light quality, supported by Marsalis' rich soprano voice and Calderazzo's delicate meanderings. Calderazzo's "The Lonely Swan" is brooding yet soulful, with a mid-tempo flow. The cerebral piano and saxophone duet "Muldoon" is offered by bassist Revis, while Marsalis' title composition, "Eternal," is a nearly eighteen minute long piece which begins quietly then builds to a feverish crescendo as each musician contributes to its energy.

True ballads have a timeless quality, and this is proven again on the Billie Holiday tune "Gloomy Monday," which is one of the highlights of the recording. The richness and depth of the 1930's classic "Dinner for One Please, James" is a testament to both the quartet and composer Michael Carr. Performed with the usual impeccable talent with which Marsalis and his quartet have become synonymous, Eternal succeeds at providing both mood and substance.

Track Listing: 1.The Ruby and the Pearl 2. Reika's Loss 3. Gloomy Sunday 4. The Lonely Swan 5. "Dinner for One Please, James 6. Muldoon 7. Eternal

Personnel: Branford Marsalis--Saxophones; Joey Calderazzo--Piano; Eric Revis--Bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts--Drums.

Title: Eternal | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Marsalis Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin" CD/LP/Track Review Peaceful Easy Feeling: The Songs of Jack Tempchin
by Doug Collette
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Tether" CD/LP/Track Review Tether
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "New Road: Iowa Memoirs" CD/LP/Track Review New Road: Iowa Memoirs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 2018
Read "Groove Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Do For You?" CD/LP/Track Review Do For You?
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 5, 2017