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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Branford Marsalis Quartet with Special Guest Kurt Elling: Upward Spiral

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To one extent or another, jazz has always maintained a discriminatory dividing line between vocalists and instrumentalists. Instead of being viewed as equals--artists on par with all the rest, possessing the same good sense, skill, and stake in an artistic outcome--vocalists have often been unfairly stigmatized and interned in a separate category. But all of that has slowly been changing, due in no small part to a large and continually growing crop of vocalists who are consistently raising the bar. ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Paris Jazz Diary 2015: Saxophonists Branford Marsalis, Azar Lawrence

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Paris Jazz Diary 2015: Saxophonists Branford Marsalis, Azar Lawrence New Morning, Sunside jazz clubs Paris, France July 21-22, 2015 Back-to-back jazz nights featured dynamic saxophonists Branford Marsalis and Azar Lawrence performing in two of the top music clubs of Paris, both leading quartets. Marsalis was on the big stage in the 200-seat New Morning and Lawrence played in the more intimate Sunside jazz club. Both delivered with fire and ferocity, playing tenor and soprano saxophones ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Branford Marsalis and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia at Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts

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Branford Marsalis and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts Scottsdale, Arizona October 19, 2014 Saxophonist Branford Marsalis demonstrated his consummate versatility during a concert with the Chamber Orchestra of jny: Philadelphia as part of that ensemble's 50th anniversary national concert tour, the jazz-pop star having segued into classical performances four years ago with the New York Philharmonic. “Marsalis: Well-Tempered" was the concert theme, using a term applied to the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Branford Marsalis Quartet at Max Fisher Music Center

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Branford Marsalis Quartet Max Fisher Music Center Detroit, MI October 11, 2013 The Branford Marsalis Quartet is arguably the best small unit working in jazz these days, as proven by the performance of the BMQ in Detroit. This concert was the opening event for the superb jazz series presented by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The emcee for the concert just happened to be renowned trumpeter and (Marsalis home-boy) Terence Blanchard, who ...

INTERVIEWS

Branford Marsalis: Confident MF Playin’ Tunes

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Musicians evolve, and so do bands, if they're allowed to stay together long enough to develop their musical relationships--that certain chemistry. Such is the case with Branford Marsalis, the outstanding saxophonist who has been through so much in his storied career. It's also the case with his band, which he has kept together, with few personnel changes, for more than a decade. They are a tight unit that continues to ripen.That band, and its saxophonist, are going as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Branford Marsalis Quartet: Four MFs Playin' Tunes

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Branford Marsalis Quartet: Four MFs Playin' Tunes

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Branford Marsalis / Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

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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 ...


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