Publication: Pioneer Press
Author: Dan Emerson
Date: June 26, 2014
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet recently released an album of new material. So, will Marsalis and his mates be playing music from “4 MFs Playin’ Tunes” when they perform Friday evening in Mears Park at the 16th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival?
“That will depend on how we feel,” said Marsalis, who places a high value on the importance of “being in the moment,” and the spontaneous, on-the-fly creativity that is the essence of jazz.
If the three-time Grammy winner plays tunes from the new album at his festival appearance, they may sound somewhat different from the way they were recorded in the studio. Musicians like Marsalis and his mates don’t consider compositions to be static creations — they should evolve and improve over time as they are played live.
Marsalis leads a quartet that has stayed together longer than many modern jazz groups, with pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and the youngest member, drummer Justin Faulkner. There’s a widely accepted idea in the jazz world that the longer a band stays together the more it develops the ability to collectively and spontaneously create good music,onstage.
But familiarity alone “doesn’t do it,” said Marsalis, who divides his time between the jazz and classical music worlds. A willingness to risk failure is important.