press

News posts that reference press.

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: PopMatters
Author: Will Layman
Date: June 14, 2011

Branford is the fun Marsalis, the Marsalis who played with Sting and the Grateful Dead, the funny Marsalis who fooled around with a movie career (Throw Momma From the Train) and who was the bandleader and sidekick when Jay Leno first took over the Tonight Show way back.

But that can be deceptive. Branford, in many ways, has been just as “serious” about music as his polemical brother Wynton. Particularly when it comes to playing passionately straight-ahead jazz, Branford has been more hard-nosed. His quartet has been a long-standing institution that rarely indulges in themed records or gimmicks. Mostly, Branford has insisted on charging post-bop and aching classic ballads, drawing on the tradition of Rollins, Coltrane and Byas. Branford’s quartet has been an ain’t-no-foolin’-around outfit.

Since the pianist Kenny Kirkland passed away in 1998, the piano chair in Branford’s quartet has been decisively owned by Joey Calderazzo. Read more »

Branford Marsalis/JoeyCalderazzo – Songs Of Mirth And Melancholy – Marsalis Music

Publication: Audiophile Audition
Author: Robbie Gerson
Date: June 13, 2011

  ****½:
(Branford Marsalis – saxophone; Joey Calderazzo – piano)

When Kenny Kirkland passed away in 1998, the future of The Branford Marsalis Quartet was in question. However, pianist Joey Calderazzo proved to be an ideal replacement. Marsalis (under his own label) had been performing and introducing new artists to an ever-expanding jazz milieu. Hailing from a legendary New Orleans musical family, he garnered acclaim as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Wynton Marsalis quintet. Subsequently, he formed his own group, but was in demand as a session player (Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Miles Davis). Additionally, he performed as a soloist for assorted symphonies and orchestras. This duality of classical music and jazz has produced a unique pursuit of artistic expression. In the family tradition, Marsalis has been involved in numerous collegiate workshops and instruction.

When Marsalis and Calderozzo decided to record as a duet, they wanted have a departure from the typical jazz collaboration. Songs Of Mirth And Melancholy does exactly that. Read more »

DCist Preview: Claudia Acuña @ Jazz on the National Mall

Publication:                      DCist
Author: Sriram Gopal
Date: June 10, 2011

Jazz on the National Mall, taking place on Sunday, is the DC Jazz Festival’s showcase event. The concert was left out of last year’s program due to budget shortfalls caused by the recent economic downturn, but two years ago the festival held a two-day affair featuring musicians from New Orleans which drew 80,000 people. This year’s show is limited to a single day, but nonetheless features an all-star lineup, including Toby Foyeh & Orchestra Africa, Frédéric Yonnet, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, headliner Eddie Palmieri’s All-Star Salsa Orchestra and rising Latin jazz vocalist Claudia Acuña.

You get a chance to hang out with artists you admire and respect. I love that part of it,” Acuña said of playing festivals like this. “And there’s always a great energy and everyone’s so sweet.”

Acuña’s career has reached the point where she performs regularly in front of large audiences, such as the one that will likely be hearing her on Sunday. However, she does not alter her approach, whether she is performing on a large outdoor stage or in a small club. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 13th, 2011 — 01:08pm

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 »