Branford Marsalis

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

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo Duo / Songs of Mirth and Melancholy - World Premiere

Branford and JoeyTickets are now on sale for the WORLD PREMIERE of Branford Maralis & Joey Calderazzo’s duo project, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy, at the 2011 TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The performance takes place at The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall in Toronto, Ontario on June 29. For more information and to purchase your tickets today, please visit the jazz festival’s website! We hope to see you there.

Born of an evolving love of music and set in the deep focus of serious listening and learning, Songs of Mirth and Melancholy, is full of virtuosity and joy, touching the listener with its expressiveness, melody, emotion; those elements of music that transcend genre and period and speak to us of inspiration and beauty. Comprised primarily of original compositions from each musician, a Wayne Shorter tune paying tribute to that great man and a nod to Brahms, the duo presented here provides the listener with a glimpse into their ever deepening musical journey.

The album is being released on June 7, 2011.
Read more »

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

Pratfalls From Haydn, Swing From Marsalis

Publication: New York Times
Author: Steve Smith
Date: February 18, 2011

Taken at face value, the program that the New York Philharmonic presented on Wednesday evening in Avery Fisher Hall was a curious clutch of disparate works. Still, there was symmetry to the arrangement: two saxophone showcases played with an estimable soloist, Branford Marsalis, both also heard during a Philharmonic concert in Central Park last summer, flanked here by pieces that repurposed viable music from forgotten stage dramas.

There were lessons to be learned from the event. One, obviously, was that any good music can survive the specifics of its provenance.

Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 28th, 2011 — 04:28pm

Branford Marsalis, Alexander Glazunov, And The Commodores

Publication: Lament for a Straight Line
Author: Jim Macnie
Date: February 23, 2011

Steve Smith says Branford Marsalis brought a “gracious poise” to Glazunov’s “Concerto for Alto Saxophone And String Orchestra” last week at a New York Phil show. A few weeks prior, when I sat down with the five Marsalis men who are working musicians, the subject of growing up with the Glazunov cropped up, too. Patriarch Ellis, a longtime educator and superb jazz pianist, ruminated on the rigors of addressing classical works. And then Branford and brother Wynton weighed in with a quip or two. The entire Q&A is coming out in the April issue of Down Beat, due in two weeks. Here’s part of the piece that had to be edited out for space reasons. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 28th, 2011 — 04:55pm

Marsalis and Blanchard focus on the new, not the tried-and-true

Publication: TwinCities.com
Author: Dan Emerson
Date: February 27, 2011

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, who led their respective bands Sunday night at Orchestra Hall, don’t seem old enough to have had a 40-year musical relationship.

But that is the case, Marsalis, 50, told the audience. They met as grade-schoolers at a summer jazz camp in their native New Orleans in 1970, and have been collaborators, off-and-on, ever since.

Sunday’s concert featured mostly new compositions by the two bandleaders and their colleagues — a refreshing change, since most Orchestra Hall jazz shows feature tried-and-true standards.

Marsalis opened the show with his quartet, which features two longtime bandmates: pianist Joey Calderazzo and upright bassist Eric Revis. The group’s newest member is young drummer Justin Faulkner. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 28th, 2011 — 04:24pm

Branford Marsalis talks about his new drummer, jazz families, classical music and more

Publication: Minnesota Post
Author: Pamela Espeland
Date: February 25, 2011

The eldest son in a famous clan of jazz musicians, saxophonist/composer/educator Branford Marsalis is enjoying a robust and variegated career. Known mainly as a jazz artist, he is equally at home with classical music and contemporary pop. He spent two years as musical director of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” and another two performing and recording with Sting (“Dream of the Blue Turtles,” “Nothing Like the Sun”). He still performs with Sting on occasion.

On Sunday evening, Marsalis will perform at Orchestra Hall with his formidable quartet. (This is not a star-saxophonist-plus-rhythm-section quartet, but an ongoing, provocative, stimulating four-way conversation.) He’ll share the bill with another famous New Orleans native, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, who will bring his quintet to the big stage.  Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on February 25th, 2011 — 06:38pm

Marsalis Berklee Jams Continues with Aaron Goldberg

Boston, MA, October 19, 2010 - Berklee College of Music and Marsalis Music present Marsalis Berklee Jams, a program that brings up-and-coming jazz artists to Boston for performances with Berklee students, as well as master classes and clinics. The featured artist for this sixth installment of Jams is Aaron Goldberg, a Boston-born pianist and composer “selfless in all the right ways … versatile and impressive, and he swings hard” (New York Times).

On November 3 and 4, Goldberg will present two performance/jam sessions at 8:00 p.m. While participation in the jam sessions are open to Berklee students only, tickets for the concert/jam sessions are available to the public. The Jams take place at Berklee’s Cafe 939, 939 Boylston Street. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10. For tickets or more information, call (617) 747-2261 or visit Berklee.edu/events. Shows at Cafe 939 are all ages.
Read more »

From D.C.'s Kennedy Center to East Of Angel Town: Conversations with Branford Marsalis

Publication: The Huffington Post
Author: Mike Ragogna
Date: October 18, 2010

Legendary jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis has been accumulating a series of honors with the upcoming NEA’s Jazz Masters Award being one of the most prestigious yet. He and his brood of familial, musical superstars recently played D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and that recording has been released as the album Music Redeems that unites The Marsalis Family with guests such as honorary offspring, Harry Connick, Jr.

The project’s profits will fund The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a New Orleans-based organization dedicated to keeping the arts lively for young people. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on October 18th, 2010 — 10:04am