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Reviews: Jazz discs from Branford Marsalis Quartet, Charlie Hunter Trio

Publication: Buffalo.com
Author: Jeff Simon
Date: June 7, 2015

Branford Marsalis Quartet, “A Love Supreme: Live in Amsterdam” (Okeh/Marsalis Music, disc plus DVD). A celebration of jazz history that is, itself, a remarkable bit of jazz history. John Coltrane’s classic record “A Love Supreme” was issued in February 1965. In the 50 years since its birth, few, if any, have been the musicians to treat Coltrane’s record as anything other than a great jazz monument – never to be touched and always to be revered. Here is that amazing rarity in celebration of “A Love Supreme’s” 50th anniversary year – a spectacular current jazz saxophonist putting his phenomenal quartet to work on Coltrane’s composition. Marsalis, then, is using all of Coltrane’s themes, tempos and rhythms but his incredible quartet is doing it all in their own way, from note to note. This, then, is one of the more phenomenal things that ever happens in jazz: one master player performing the most passionate tribute he can to a greater one by using every bit of his own majestic talent. 

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Submitted by Courtney on June 8th, 2015 — 12:19pm

Tar Heel: Branford Marsalis champions jazz for all

Publication: The News & Observer
Author: Marti Maguire
Date: May 30, 2015

DURHAM - Branford Marsalis grew up with the sounds of jazz music literally rising from the streets, wafting through the windows of the New Orleans home that would spawn a series of jazz giants.

And yet, the Grammy-award winning saxophonist, composer and bandleader’s career is marked by his versatility. Marsalis has played with the Grateful Dead and symphony orchestras, written Broadway scores and starred in Spike Lee movies. He started a record label, hosted a radio show and led the Tonight Show Band.

When he moved to Durham in 2002, Marsalis brought more than his varied talents and the famous surname. He also brought a legacy of service that he traces back to his musical family – one that has made its mark in the Triangle as well as his home town.

Marsalis regularly donates his time and talents to local causes, most notably the N.C. Symphony. He’s organized and performed at several concerts to benefit the organization, including the upcoming Branford Marsalis and Friends show on Tuesday that will also feature Rhiannon Giddens and The Kruger Brothers.

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Submitted by Courtney on June 1st, 2015 — 09:55am

Classical Classroom, Episode 82: Branford Marsalis Gives Classical Music Jazz Hands

Branford Marsalis recently appeared on Houston Public Radio’s “Classical Classroom” program, interviewed by Dacia Clay. Branford and Dacia speak about the similarities between the jazz and classical genres and Branford’s latest album, In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral

Listen to the program via Houston Public Radio

Submitted by Courtney on April 9th, 2015 — 03:10pm

A dedicated, open mind allows Branford Marsalis to have the world of music at his fingertips

Publication: Columbia Daily Tribune
Author: Amy Wilder
Date: February 1, 2015

Branford Marsalis is a musical polyglot. He is fluent in every language and genre, from classical to jazz, R&B and hip-hop, and his saxophone gives voice to something beyond words, defiant of traditional boundaries.

He will perform at the Missouri Theatre Feb. 8 as part of the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series; the date is this year’s University of Missouri College of Arts and Science Signature Concert. Marsalis brings with him a trio of longtime collaborators to round out his quartet: pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and relative newcomer, percussionist Justin Faulkner.

In Marsalis’ most recent release, “In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral,” — recorded in 2012 and released last fall — the saxophonist’s haunting melodies fill the cavernous space of the San Francisco cathedral, dipping gracefully in and out of various genres with nods and homages, and the through line vacillates between jazz and classical styles.

Especially indicative of his tendency to scale musical boundaries is the track “Blues For One.” In it, he establishes an ambulatory shuffle blues rhythm and then adds a boogie-woogie melody on top of it. That he does that all with one instrument, playing into the echoes in the church, is incredible.

The transition to a solo performance was entirely natural for Marsalis; his catholic, fluid ability is something he attributes in part to his consumption of the work of other musicians; he draws analogies from another love — sports.

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Submitted by Courtney on February 2nd, 2015 — 10:46am

The Many Movements Of Branford Marsalis

Publication: WUNC’s The State of Things
Interviewer: Frank Stasio
Date: January 29, 2015

Frank Stasio from WUNC’s program The State of Things interviews Branford Marsalis and topics include Marsalis’s bandmates Joey Calderazzo and Justin Faulkner, performing with The Grateful Dead, and Branford’s most recent album, In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral. Head over to WUNC’s website to listen to the full interview

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