It is no secret that the Branford Marsalis Quartet can be as freewheeling off the bandstand as in performance. Saxophonist Marsalis, pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner are each bold personalities with strong opinions, equally intense in both musical and verbal exchanges. ''The band talks about all kinds of things, many of which are unprintable,'' Marsalis admits. ''But we have serious musical debates as well.'' One of these conversations led to Upward Spiral, the new album with special guest Kurt Elling.
When Branford met Kurt at a Thelonious Monk Institute competition, they had a conversation at the bar about doing a record together. What has emerged, after an intense week of performance and recording in New Orleans, is a collection that blends Songbook staples, jazz standards, and standards-to-be from a diverse array of composers.
Every track on Upward Spiral confirms the beyond-category strengths of both the Quartet and Elling.
For Marsalis, Upward Spiral is consistent with all of his previous music.
''My philosophy of jazz is that it should be about strong melodies and a great beat, and every song here has a melody that you can hold in your mind, that you can sing.''
IN MY SOLITUDE: LIVE IN CONCERT AT GRACE CATHEDRAL MOVLP1241]
A LOVE SUPREME LIVE IN AMSTERDAM 2003 [MOVLP1464]
SCENES IN THE CITY [MOVLP1426]
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180 GRAM AUDIOPHILE VINYL
BRAND NEW ALBUM
1. There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
2. Blue Gardenia
3. From One Island to Another
1. Practical Arrangement
3. I'm A Fool to Want You
1. West Virginia Rose
2. So Tinha de Ser Com Voce
3. Momma Said
4. Cassandra song
1. Blue Velvet
2. The Return (Upward Spiral)