Branford Marsalis News

Longtime collaborators Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo shine on new duet disc

Publication: Detroit Free Press
Author: Mark Stryker
Date: June 19, 2011

There’s a lot to admire about “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy” ( * * * out of four stars, Marsalis Music), the rewarding new duet album by saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo. Calderazzo has been a mainstay of Marsalis’ quartet since 1998, and the rapport the two have built comes into bold relief without bass and drums in the mix.

Read More at the Detroit Free Press

Submitted by Courtney on June 20th, 2011 — 10:00am

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 »

Review: Duo's music is 'pure artistry'

Publication: Durham Herald-Sun
Author: Cliff Bellamy
Date: June 3, 2011

There’s so much that is special about the music on “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy.” The release (due to hit stores Tuesday) is the first time Durham resident and NCCU artist in residence Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo, the longtime pianist for Marsalis’ quartet, have recorded as a duo. The music also was recorded at Hayti Heritage Center, and the sound that comes across on this disc is another argument for preserving the Bull City’s great historic spaces. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 7th, 2011 — 01:18pm

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