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...


Branford Marsalis Quartet: Metamorphosen


Sign in to view read count
Branford Marsalis has always had contrarian tendencies. From joining Sting's band to quitting The Tonight Show, he's followed his own path, even when his motivations have moved him away from conventional jazz forms. Today, being the artistic director of his own record label (at a time when record labels are floundering) and playing with the same band mates for the last decade (at a time when keeping anything together for 10 years seems unlikely) simply appear to be the next steps in an atypical career.

Adding to the Branford Marsalis Quartet's uniqueness is the fact that on Metamorphosen, each member of the group makes an equal contribution to the music. Of the nine cuts, only "Jabberwocky" was written by Marsalis, which affords a rare turn for him on alto saxophone. Pianist Joey Calderazzo and longtime drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts each offer two compositions, while bassist Eric Revis is credited with three. Watts' "The Return of the Jitney Man" kicks things off in rollicking fashion, but unlike the take found on the drummer's recent release as a leader, Watts, Calderazzo's piano infuses the tune with a melodicism that softens Marsalis' hard-hitting tenor. Calderazzo's own classical lightness and the unblemished beauty of his own tunes ("The Blossom of Parting" and "The Last Goodbye") are matched by Marsalis' sweetly confident soprano and Revis' "Sphere" makes for a natural segue out of Monk's "Rhythm-a-Ning" as the bassist establishes a staggering beat.

This group demonstrates how a shared history and unique creative voices intermingle to create a powerful musical statement. The variety of these compositional perspectives and personalized approaches, individualized at their cores yet integrated into a collective whole, makes for an absorbing hour of world-class jazz music.

Track Listing: The Return of the Jitney Man; The Blossom of Parting; Jabberwocky; Abe Vigoda; Rhythm-A-Ning; Sphere; The Last Goodbye; And Then, He Was Gone; Samo.

Personnel: Joey Calderazzo: piano; Branford Marsalis: alto, soprano, tenor saxophone; Eric Revis: bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums.

Title: Metamorphosen | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Marsalis Music


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Louise Baranger Plays The Great American Songbook
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 6, 2018
Read "Cubafonía" CD/LP/Track Review Cubafonía
by Matt Hooke
Published: December 26, 2017
Read "Any Other Way" CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "King For A Day" CD/LP/Track Review King For A Day
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest" CD/LP/Track Review Stax Singles, Vol. 4: Rarities & Best of the Rest
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Awakening" CD/LP/Track Review Awakening
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 2, 2018