Happy Jazz Appreciation Month! Learn about the Marsalis Music Honors Series! Celebrate with 25% off your purchase at the Marsalis Music store with promo code CELEBRATEJAM! Watch Branford perform at the International Jazz Day’s All-Star Concert in Istanbul via online stream! Go hear a live jazz performance! Read more »
‘Mirth and Melancholy’ from Branford Marsalis
Author: Jay Harvey
Date: June 20, 2011
You can’t find any more thoughtful jazz musician than Branford Marsalis. He’s also a master of tone and nuance whenever he picks up the soprano or tenor saxophone. With Joey Calderazzo, his longtime collaborator on piano (a relationship as fruitful as Marsalis had with cut-off-in-his-prime Kenny Kirkland), he has released “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy” (Marsalis Music).
There are portions of this exploration of deep melody between the two players that stray into a kind of highbrow easy listening. But mostly the music rewards sustained attention, in a hopefully alpha-wave mode — hard to get into, but an inevitable drag to leave.