Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Anthony Branker & Imagine: Beauty Within

Read "Beauty Within" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The two aneurysms that forced composer and musical director Anthony Branker to give up the trumpet in 1999 have done nothing to stem the tide of thoughtful and progressive music that he consistently delivers. Downsizing from his “Word Play" ensemble, Branker guides a quintet of new and long-time colleagues on Beauty Within. A regular Branker collaborator, saxophonist Ralph Bowen joins a consummate session man in guitarist Pete McCann who has worked with Maria Schneider, Lindsey Horner and many ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Anthony Branker & Imagine: Beauty Within

Read "Beauty Within" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The “Rising Star" status isn't confined to fresh music school graduates. Dr. Anthony Branker, Educator--who, for twenty-seven years, was engaged in a big way with Princeton University's jazz program--has achieved a recent “rising star" tag as a composer. This after releasing seven top notch CDs for Origin Records, including the masterful Uppity (2013). “Composer/Musical Director" is Branker's title on his recordings. He doesn't play, but rather molds the sounds of several different small group jazz collectives. On Beauty ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Anthony Branker & Word Play: Uppity

Read "Uppity" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

On Uppity, Dr. Anthony Branker, Director of Jazz Studies at Princeton University, has created a life-affirming, sometimes funky, and straight-through beautiful set of sounds--an ode to the resiliency and basic goodness of the human spirit.Branker began his jazz journey as a trumpeter, but complications from a brain aneurysm in 1999 brought his trumpet playing days to an end. He is now the composer and musical director of his Ascent and Word Play modern jazz ensembles.Uppity opens ...

INTERVIEW

Anthony Branker: Jazz Dialogics

Read "Anthony Branker: Jazz Dialogics" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Anthony Branker is a musician for all seasons. He began his career as a trumpeter, including a stint with the Spirit of Life Ensemble, which honored its African-American and Afro-Caribbean roots during a multi-year tenure as the Monday night band at the legendary Sweet Basil club in New York City. Over time, Branker developed an increasing interest in jazz education, which led him to teaching positions at Hunter College and Princeton University, where he organized and conducted memorable ensembles. Around ...

LIVE REVIEW

Anthony Branker & Word Play: Princeton, NJ, April 3, 2011

Read "Anthony Branker & Word Play: Princeton, NJ, April 3, 2011" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Anthony Branker & Word PlayPaul Robeson Center for the ArtsSolley AuditoriumPrinceton, NJApril 3, 2011 Trumpeter Anthony Branker's Princeton, New Jersey concert--sponsored by The Princeton Council for the Arts, funded by Wachovia-Wells Fargo Bank, Bloomberg and other sources--was a musical gem set on the laconic, early spring day of Sunday afternoon, April 3. The Solley Auditorium of the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts on Witherspoon Street, is an intimate but fully equipped ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Anthony Branker & Ascent: Dance Music

Read "Dance Music" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Anthony Branker continues to experiment with the standards of large group musical tradition on Dance Music. Leading a revised version of his Ascent ensemble, the composer/musical director takes a different approach than the Latin influences on Blessings (Origin Records, 2009). Only on the last of ten tracks, “Depende," is there a composition in that vein, but that's all for the good, as Branker keeps searching for new ways to articulate a distinctive personal sound. Dance Music opens with ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Anthony Branker & Ascent: Dance Music

Read "Dance Music" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Dr. Anthony Branker holds an endowed jazz chair, and is currently director of the Program in Jazz Studies at Princeton University. A composer and musical director, Branker established the jazz collective, Anthony Branker & Ascent in 2004, featuring an A-list of players--among them, saxophonists Tia Fuller and Ralph Bowen fronting a light ensemble, with vocalist Kadri Voorand. Dance Music is the group's third album of all-original music, inspired by Branker's desire to infuse his compositions with an element of dance. ...


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