An Evening with Branford Marsalis
For more than thirty years, the Branford Marsalis Quartet has told stories through sound with compositions original and classic, familiar and avant-garde. Joined by pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner, Branford Marsalis leads us into emotive soundscapes from the quartet's latest album, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul, influenced by African percussion ensembles, European opera, and saxophone greats such as Ornette Coleman and Wayne Shorter.
"Sonny Rollins provided the template for playing each piece with a ton of vocabulary and how to use the sound of one's instrument," says Marsalis, and the musicianship is remarkable. Compositions such as "Evil Toysand," an interpretation of Keith Jarrett's 1970 song "The Windup," are playful, complex, and ambitious. Held together by the dance of keyboard, saxophone, and the deeper elements of percussion and bass, "Conversation Among the Ruins" and "Life Filtering from the Water" are elegant and beautifully haunting. "We mold the harmony to the melody, where too many people let the harmony dictate," Marsalis says, "and we play in the cracks" where they can apply their "own ideas." And from the cracks, compositions ranging from cerebral to deceptively graceful emerge.
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