Branford Marsalis

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 — 12:56pm

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 — 12:36pm

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 — 12:11pm

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 — 11:31am

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 — 03:13pm

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 — 11:58am

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 — 03:28pm

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 — 03:55pm