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Branford Marsalis To Release New Album with Kurt Elling on June 10
Author: Brian Zimmerman
Date: April 7, 2016
Things are looking up for saxophonist Branford Marsalis and vocalist Kurt Elling, who will add a shared title to their respective discographies. The Branford Marsalis Quartet will release Upward Spiral, featuring Elling as a guest vocalist, on June 10. The album will be released via Marsalis Music on OKeh Records.
The album, Marsalis’ first new leader project since 2014’s In My Solitude (Marsalis Music/Sony Masterworks), reunites the pioneering saxophonist with his longtime quartet, made up of pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner. The group’s previous album, Four MF’s Playing Tunes, was released in August 2012, and earned a 4-star review in the October 2012 issue of DownBeat.
Recorded during a weeklong session in New Orleans, the album is a collection that blends Great American Songbook staples, modern jazz standards and popular music mainstays from a diverse array of composers.
In an announcement from the record label, Marsalis explained that the goal from the outset of this project was to create a true feeling of partnership.
“I usually reject the word ‘collaboration,’” Marsalis said, “because it implies a third thing from that which each collaborator does well. I don’t need a collaborator to do what I normally do, and Kurt doesn’t, either. But this time, none of us were going to do what we normally do. The goal here, even though he sings lyrics, was to highlight Kurt’s voice as an instrument.”