Release Date: Mar 17, 2009
Record label: Marsalis Music
As on his recording Requiem, dedicated to his longtime friend and pianist Kenny Kirkland, Branford Marsalis dedicates this recording to his mentors, friends, and jazz icons who had passed away prior to its recording. The CD varies between his tenor or alto saxophone celebratory-led post and neo-bop compositions, or the somber, reflective slower songs featuring the soprano sax of Marsalis. This exceptional band, together for ten years, with drummer Jeff Watts, bassist Eric Revis, and pianist Joey Calderazzo, communicate with utter confidence and the mastery of expert professional musicians who need few verbal or charted cues to spring forth into action.
Branford Marsalis can't help making good albums, not least because he leads one of the most formidable lineups on the international circuit: Jeff "Tain" Watts, Joey Calderazzo and Eric Revis. Lately, Marsalis has taken to mixing his full-on post-Coltrane and post-Ornette Coleman vigour with a rapturous, classically pure ballad style on soprano saxophone, as he demonstrates here on the sublime Blossom of Parting and The Last Goodbye (which faintly resembles the Beatles' Michelle). This set features material the group played on their appearance at the Barbican in London last July, including the flying Return of the Jitney Man and Thelonious Monk's Rhythm-a-Ning.