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Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: JazzTimes
Author: Jeff Tamarkin
Date: June 7, 2011

Sometimes an album’s title tells you everything you need to know. Songs of Mirth and Melancholy is truth in advertising, a concise, pinpoint description of what this recording offers. But the title alone doesn’t go far enough in conveying the level of elegance and intimacy resident within this collaboration between saxophonist Branford Marsalis and the pianist in his regular quartet, Joey Calderazzo. Since his induction into the band in 1998, when he replaced the late Kenny Kirkland, Calderazzo has consistently developed, his acumen as a player and the maturity of his songwriting adding significantly to the quartet’s breadth. Calderazzo has also released several albums as a leader that reaffirm his ingenuity. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 7th, 2011 — 01:56pm

CD reviews: 'Mirth and Melancholy' shows more about Marsalis' abilities

Publication: Pittsburgh Tribune
Date: June 5, 2011
Author: Bob Karlovits

Branford Marsalis is clearly the most engaging member of his musically wealthy family. Whether on his collection of classics “Romances for Saxophone,” as a guest with Sting or on this duet album, “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy,” Marsalis always is finding new truths about his instrument. This disc with pianist Joey Calderazzo is a collection of seven originals from one or the other, one piece by Wayne Shorter and one by Johannes Brahms. The are played in a virtuosic way with respect to the music and to each other. The album has variety that ranges from a uptempo “One Way” by Calderazzo to his classically flavored “Hope” and Marsalis’ “The Bard Lachrymose,” which has the same formal nature. This is one not to pass up. It is available Tuesday.

Submitted by Courtney on June 6th, 2011 — 01:36pm

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy Review

Publication: All Music
Date: June 5, 2011
Author: Thom Jurek

Given the history that saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo have, the end results of Songs of Mirth and Melancholy should not be surprising, yet they are. Calderazzo replaced the late Kenny Kirkland in Marsalis’ band in 1998 and the rapport between them is seamlessly intuitive as revealed here. Cut in three days in Durham, North Carolina, the set contains compositions by both men, as well as a surprising pair of covers. As the title implies, this is a study in mood contrasts, and it begins on an up note with Calderazzo’s rollicking “One Way.” Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 6th, 2011 — 01:11pm

CD: Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo – Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: The Arts Desk
Date: June 2, 2011
Author: Peter Quinn

It may have taken just three days to record, but this new duo recording from sax player Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo has 13 years of music-making behind it, dating back to when Calderazzo replaced the late, great Kenny Kirkland in the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1998. We’ve come to expect a superabundance of imagination from both these players, but in Songs of Mirth and Melancholy Marsalis and Calderazzo seem to tap into even deeper levels of musical empathy and intuition. Read more »

Branford Marsalis / Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy (2011)

Publication: All About Jazz
Date: May 30, 2011
Author: Mark F. Turner

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 recordings. Marsalis’ voice is commanding in any aspect, whether playing or speaking frankly about the music environment, and continues to resonate as a leader. Together, their rapport illuminates this recording.
Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on May 31st, 2011 — 12:31pm

Marsalis, Branford and Joey Calderazzo - Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: The Phantom Tollbooth
Author: Derek Walker
Date: May 26, 2011

Timeless, breezy jazz played with remarkable purity

When the Branford Marsalis Quartet released their last album Metamorphosis, Marsalis – being a democratic kind of bandleader – gave each of his colleagues some space for their compositions. These pieces were fairly varied, but it was the work of pianist Joey Calderazzo that particularly impressed me. His relaxed, lyrical style made listening a real pleasure and some tracks were the sort you could enjoy for hours. So it was exciting to see that he and Marsalis were to work together for this intimate collaboration, free of drums and any other outside interference. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on May 26th, 2011 — 04:13pm

The Marsalis Family: Music Redeems – review

Publication: The Guardian.co.uk
Author: John Fordham
Date: May 5, 2011

This unexpectedly quirky live get-together by the Marsalis family, with Harry Connick Jr among the guests, was caught at the Kennedy Center to commemorate the patriarch, pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis’s receipt of a lifetime achievement award. It’s also a fundraiser for the new Center for Music bearing his name in New Orleans, and was made to coincide with the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s assault on the family’s home town. All those honourable motivations might have turned the gig into a restrainedly respectful affair, but in fact it’s a hoot – Read more »

Jazz review: Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard at the Broad Stage

Publication: Los Angeles Times
Author: Chris Barton
Date: April 3, 2011

Split evenly between two groups, Saturday’s show featuring Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard felt a little like watching a prize fight. No punches were thrown and there was nothing less than harmony between the players, but a double-bill featuring two of the biggest names in contemporary jazz is undoubtably a main event, and the stylistic contrast between the two heavyweights was striking. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on April 5th, 2011 — 04:20pm

Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard @ Kennedy Center

Publication: DCist
Author: Sriram Gopal
Date: March 28, 2011

Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard The Kennedy Center presented a double bill on Saturday evening that showed two very different approaches to modern acoustic jazz. Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and trumpeter Terence Blanchard are both titans of the genre, with strong pedigrees in the musical traditions of New Orleans. Marsalis’s quartet adopted a less structured sound that was more adventurous and challenging, while Blanchard’s quintet dug more into the swing of things and offered more accessibility during its half of the two-and-a-half hour concert. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on March 29th, 2011 — 12:58pm

New Orleans Jazz: Charles Betts on the addictive music of Harry Connick, Jr.

Publication: Felix Online
Author: Charles Betts
Date: February 28, 2011

New Orleans music is an addiction. Its diversity portrays every emotional state and as the legendary jazz musician Ellis Marsalis puts it, at a time when individualism is becoming an endangered species, the sounds of the Bayou represent a celebration of the individual. Put simply, without it life would be emptier.

Harry Connick Jr. is arguably the city’s most famous living export, having obtained more number-one albums than any other artist in US jazz chart history. He has taken his native music across the globe, to the delight of audiences that stamp and cheer to the joyful noise. He has re-created the next-best thing to Mardi Gras at venues including the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Salle Pleyel in Paris, and on Broadway in New York.
Read more »