BRANFORD MARSALIS

Post Bop / Third Stream / Vocal Jazz / Post-Fusion Contemporary / Jazz Related Soundtracks / Blues • United States
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The oldest of the four musical Marsalis brothers, Branford Marsalis has had an impressive career. After studying at Southern University and Berklee, Branford toured Europe with the Art Blakey big band in the summer of 1980 (playing baritone), played three months with Clark Terry, and then spent five months playing alto with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers (1981). He mostly played tenor and soprano while with Wynton Marsalis' influential group (1982-1985), at first sounding most influenced by Wayne Shorter but leaning more toward John Coltrane at the end. The musical telepathy between the two brothers (who helped to revive the sound of the mid-'60s Miles Davis Quintet) was sometimes astounding. Branford toured with Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P. II. in 1983 and recorded with Miles Davis (1984's Decoy). In 1985, when he left Wynton to join Sting's pop/rock group, it caused a major (if temporary) rift with his brother that made headlines. Marsalis read more...
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BRANFORD MARSALIS Discography

BRANFORD MARSALIS albums / top albums

BRANFORD MARSALIS Scenes in the City album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Scenes in the City
Post Bop 1984
BRANFORD MARSALIS Royal Garden Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Royal Garden Blues
Post Bop 1986
BRANFORD MARSALIS Romances For Saxophone album cover 2.55 | 2 ratings
Romances For Saxophone
Third Stream 1986
BRANFORD MARSALIS Renaissance album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Renaissance
Post Bop 1987
BRANFORD MARSALIS Random Abstract album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Random Abstract
Post Bop 1988
BRANFORD MARSALIS Trio Jeepy album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Trio Jeepy
Post Bop 1989
BRANFORD MARSALIS Mo' Better Blues (feat. Terence Blanchard) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mo' Better Blues (feat. Terence Blanchard)
Jazz Related Soundtracks 1990
BRANFORD MARSALIS Crazy People Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crazy People Music
Post Bop 1990
BRANFORD MARSALIS The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
Post Bop 1991
BRANFORD MARSALIS I Heard You Twice The First Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I Heard You Twice The First Time
Blues 1992
BRANFORD MARSALIS Contemporary Jazz album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Contemporary Jazz
Post Bop 2000
BRANFORD MARSALIS Footsteps Of Our Fathers album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Footsteps Of Our Fathers
Third Stream 2002
BRANFORD MARSALIS Romare Bearden Revealed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Romare Bearden Revealed
Post Bop 2003
BRANFORD MARSALIS Braggtown album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Braggtown
Post Bop 2006
BRANFORD MARSALIS Standards And Ballads album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Standards And Ballads
Post Bop 2008
BRANFORD MARSALIS Metamorphosen album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Metamorphosen
Post Bop 2009
BRANFORD MARSALIS Songs Of Mirth And Melancholy  (with Joey Calderazzo) album cover 4.45 | 2 ratings
Songs Of Mirth And Melancholy (with Joey Calderazzo)
Post-Fusion Contemporary 2011
BRANFORD MARSALIS Four MFs Playin' Tunes album cover 3.98 | 2 ratings
Four MFs Playin' Tunes
Post Bop 2012
BRANFORD MARSALIS Upward Spiral album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Upward Spiral
Vocal Jazz 2016
BRANFORD MARSALIS Branford Marsalis Quartet : The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Branford Marsalis Quartet : The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul
Post Bop 2019

BRANFORD MARSALIS EPs & splits

BRANFORD MARSALIS live albums

BRANFORD MARSALIS Bloomington album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bloomington
Post Bop 1993
BRANFORD MARSALIS The Dark Keys album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Dark Keys
Post Bop 1996
BRANFORD MARSALIS Requiem album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Requiem
Post Bop 1999
BRANFORD MARSALIS Eternal album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Eternal
Post Bop 2004
BRANFORD MARSALIS In My Solitude (Live at Grace Cathedral) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In My Solitude (Live at Grace Cathedral)
Third Stream 2014
BRANFORD MARSALIS Performs Coltrane's A Love Supreme Live In Amsterdam album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Performs Coltrane's A Love Supreme Live In Amsterdam
Post Bop 2015

BRANFORD MARSALIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BRANFORD MARSALIS re-issues & compilations

BRANFORD MARSALIS The Steep Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Steep Anthology
Post Bop 2004

BRANFORD MARSALIS singles (0)

BRANFORD MARSALIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

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Coltrane's A Love Supreme - Live In Amsterdam
Post Bop 2004

BRANFORD MARSALIS Reviews

BRANFORD MARSALIS Branford Marsalis Quartet : The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul

Album · 2019 · Post Bop
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js
For those who like their jazz on the more heated side of things, Branford Marsalis’ “The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul” should fit the bill. Its been said by more than a few that Branford’s studio recordings are no match for the fire of his live performances, and that may still be true, but this new one is probably the one studio recording that gets the closest to his live intensity, and likewise, this is also one of the better recordings in Branford’s lengthy career. Not everything on “Secret” is high energy, there is a variety of styles at work here, but it’s the ones on which Marsalis cuts loose that really mark this album as something special.

Opener “Dance of the Evil Toys” sets a modernist tone with its blend of a loping African rhythm, Stravinsky like snaky melody and harsh piano smashes. They throw a change up by introducing the ballad, “Conversation Among the Ruins”, as the second number, but it is a remarkable composition, something worthy of inclusion in future standard collections. The rest of the album is made up of a variety of 21st century post bop meets 60s free jazz with Branford and pianist Joey Calderazzo knocking out one high intensity solo after another. This all culminates with album closer, Keith Jarret’s “The Windup”, whose wacked out punky be-bop melody and arrangement sounds like something from today’s NYC scene, not the 70s when Keith wrote it. If there is one track that doesn’t quite fit, it’s the laid back Latin groove of “Cianna”, whose somewhat restrained solos don’t fit the energy and creativity of the rest of the album. Maybe that one is supposed to be the radio friendly song.

BRANFORD MARSALIS Four MFs Playin' Tunes

Album · 2012 · Post Bop
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js
I had been looking forward to the new Branford Marsalis CD, things he mentioned on a promotional video were encouraging. Although this is not quite the powerhouse I had hoped for, there are some very good “tunes” on here, as well as some that are OK. Marsalis and his crew draw from the past, particularly Monk’s abrasive hard bop, Miles’ mid-60s impressionism and Ornette’s lyrical freedom, but they also take a modern understated no nonsense approach, less extravagance and more driven focus. New drummer Justin Faulkner proves to be a great asset and almost steals the show on a couple numbers. He also helps modernize their sound with new approaches including favoring the toms over the typical ride cymbal creating an almost one man drum line.

Anyone who has seen Branford live knows he can deliver fierce tenor onslaughts with sheets of notes. The closest to that on this CD is “Whiplash”, where a quick loopy bop melody quickly gives way to Branford’s tenor solo over just drum and double bass. Joey Calderazzo is a great pianist, but its nice to hear Branford in this pure tenor trio setting. Marsalis eschews pyrotechnics on this one in exchange for clever rhythmic exchanges with Faulkner. Other highlights include two excellent modern impressionistic ballads that show off Calderazzo’s subtle piano colors. “As Summer into Autumn Slips” is almost neo-classical as Marsalis turns in his best performance on soprano sax drawing sweet oboe like sounds from his horn. “Endymion” is a sort of melodic free jazz free-for-all that features another good tenor solo and “Brews” and “Teo” supply the harsh Monk style off-center blues. The rest of the CD gets a little more eclectic and nostalgic, even getting back to the world of Sidney Bechet on bonus cut “Treat it Gentle”.

As mentioned earlier, there are some very good tunes on here, some of the more eclectic material may diminish the concentrated focus of the best ones, but on all cuts, the playing is top notch. What Branford offers is not flashy or extravagant, as reflected in the simple and really obtuse CD title.

BRANFORD MARSALIS Songs Of Mirth And Melancholy (with Joey Calderazzo)

Album · 2011 · Post-Fusion Contemporary
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idlero
More melancholy than mirth, more third stream than post bop, more classical than jazz. A rather unusual combination-a duo of piano and sax. Joey Calderazzo replaced Kenny Kirkland in Branford Marsalis Quartet some 13 years ago and they appeared first time as a duo at the Newport Jazz festival in 2009. Recorded at the Hayti Center in Durham, North Carolina, the acoustics have an ECM 'quality'. Most of the tracks are originals, save a Brahms (" die Trauerende") cover and a Wayne Shorter ("Face On The Barroom Floor") one, four of the tracks beeing written by Calderazzo, six of the 9 tracks are beautiful ballads. Marsalis’s “The Bard Lachrymose” and Calderazzo's "La Valse Kendall' and "Hope" are my favourites. Chamber jazz at its best.

BRANFORD MARSALIS Romances For Saxophone

Album · 1986 · Third Stream
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js
This isn’t a bad record, nor is it a particularly great one either. As a legitimate selection for a lover of classical music it probably fails, but as nice semi-classical music for backgrounds and casual listening it probably works just fine. Mostly this is a selection of late 19th and early 20th century lyrical pieces re-orchestrated by Michael Colombier to include Branford Marsalis’ saxophone as lead melody. Branford’s playing is great as usual, and his feel for modern classical music isn’t bad, but sometimes it sounds like he and the orchestra are not really meshing correctly. It could just be the mix of the album that is causing this problem, possibly Branford is mixed just a little too upfront for the sound of a classical recording.

When I first played this record, the opening cut ‘L’ Isle Joyeuse’ seemed to really amplify the problem of bad synching between the sax and orchestra and I assumed the whole record would be subtly clumsy and obtuse. Fortunately, as the album played on I noticed other cuts which had more straight forward melodies seemed to be more successful. Particularly nice is Villa-Lobos’ ’Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5’, Marsalis’ confidence with this one really shows and the piece comes off as more cohesive than many of the others. The simple reading of Satie’s ‘Gymnopedie No.3’ is also nice and even conveys more emotional weight than the often tentative performances found elsewhere on here. Its possible that they didn’t bother to rehearse enough to really nail down the pieces that have a more abstract ebb and flow between the sax and orchestra.

This record is a nice collection of expressive melodies played by a master of the saxophone, but don’t listen too closely hoping for a classical masterpiece.

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