276

Branford Marsalis Quartet: Metamorphosen

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
Branford Marsalis Quartet: Metamorphosen 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.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Marsalis Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Perceive React" CD/LP/Track Review Perceive React
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Trandans" CD/LP/Track Review Trandans
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 12, 2017
Read "Laughing At Life" CD/LP/Track Review Laughing At Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review High Noon
by Anthony Shaw
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>" CD/LP/Track Review Pascal Battus / Dafne Vicente-Sandoval</em>
by John Eyles
Published: June 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!