Branford Marsalis - Braggtown
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Marsalis Music 460 0042 | *****Branford Marsalis (ss, ts), Joey Calderazzo (p), Eric Revis (b) and Jeff “Tain” Watts (d). Rec. 2006
From the opening track ‘Jack Baker’ which pins your ears back with a level of intensity that is magnificently sustained from the first bar to the last, it is clear that Marsalis has made the transition from eternal wunderkind to artistic maturity with playing here that demonstrates the gravitas and profundity few musicians of his generation or the current generation in any style of jazz possess. Unmistakably in the tradition of the tenor giants of jazz – Coltrane, Rollins, Johnny Griffin at their peak – Marsalis remains deliciously apart from his legion of contemporaries through the sheer force of his musical personality. He can be powerful and compelling (‘Black Elk Speaks’, ‘Blackzilla’), hauntingly beautiful (‘Hope’, ‘Fate’ and ‘O, Solitude’) and mysterious (‘Sir Roderick Aloof’). This a broad expressive range is matched by a desire to heard, after all he is surrounded by like minded musicians who have coalesced into one of the finest ensembles in jazz.