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In My Solitude: Live In Concert At Grace CathedralBranford Marsalis is one of the most revered instrumentalists of his time. The three-time Grammy Award® winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the Jazz world's most promising new and established artists.
Branford Marsalis is one of the few illustrious Jazz artists who have performed at Grace Cathedral since Duke Ellington helped consecrate the cathedral in 1965 with his Concert of Sacred Music. Marsalis gave a performance of both composed and improvised music. He played a solo work written for oboe by C.P.E. Bach, solo saxophone pieces by Steve Lacy and Ryo Noda, and a beautiful version of Hoagy Carmichaels 'Stardust'. All of these pieces are connected by improvisations from Branford, which keep the music of various genres flowing and hold the album together.
Leader of one of the finest jazz Quartets today, and a frequent soloist with classical ensembles, Branford has become increasingly sought after as a featured soloist with orchestras around the world.1. Stardust
2. Improvisation No. 1
3. Sonata In A Minor For Oboe Solo Wq. 132: I Poco Adagio
4. The Moment I Recall Your Face
5. Improvisation No. 2
6. Mai Op. 7
7. Improvisation No. 3
8. Blues For One
9. I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Upward SpiralFeaturing Special Guest Kurt Elling
180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl
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.LP 1
1. There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York
2. Blue Gardenia
3. From One Island To Another
4. Practical Arrangement
6. I'm A Fool To Want You
1. West Virginia Rose
2. Só Tinha De Ser Com Você
3. Momma Said
4. Cassandra Song
5. Blue Velvet
6. The Return (Upward Spiral)$31.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Fuchsia Swing SongDuring the Blue Note 75th anniversary celebration the label released 100 essential Blue Note LPs and asked New York Times readers what titles they'd like to see make the list. This album is one of five new reissues that were hand-selected by Blue Note President, Don Was, based on New York Times reader recommendations.
Recorded in 1964 immediately after leaving the Miles Davis Quintet, Sam Rivers' Fuchsia Swing Song is one of the more auspicious debuts the label released in the mid-'60s. Rivers was a seasoned session player (his excellent work on Larry Young's Into Somethin' is a case in point) and a former member of Herb Pomeroy's Big Band before he went out with Davis. By the time of his debut, Rivers had been deep under the influence of Coltrane and Coleman, but wasn't willing to give up the blues just yet. Hence the sound on Fuchsia Swing Song is one of an artist who is at once very self-assured, and in transition.
Using a rhythm section that included Tony Williams (whose Life Time he had guested on), pianist Jaki Byard, and bassist Ron Carter, Rivers took the hard bop and blues of his roots and poured them through the avant-garde colander. Today, players like Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, and James Carter do it all the time, but in 1964 it was unheard of. You either played hard bop or free; Davis' entire modal thing hadn't even completely blasted off yet. The title and opening track is a case in point.
Rivers opens with an angular figure that is quickly translated by the band into sweeping, bopping blues. Rivers legato is lightning quick and his phrasing touches upon Coleman Hawkins, Sonny Rollins, Coleman, and Coltrane, but his embouchure is all his. He strikes the balance and then takes off on both sides of the aisle. Byard's comping is actually far more than that, building in rhythmic figures in striated minors just behind the tenor. Downstairs Blues Upstairs sounds, initially anyway, like it might have come out of the Davis book so deep is its blue root. But courtesy of Byard and Williams, Rivers goes to the left after only four choruses, moving onto the ledge a bit at a time, running knotty arpeggios through the center of the melody and increasingly bending his notes into succeeding intervals while shifting keys and times signatures
He never goes completely over the edge as he would on his later Blue Note dates. The most difficult cut on the date is Luminous Monolith, with its swing-like figure introducing the melody. Eight bars in, the syncopation of the rhythm sections begins a stutter stem around the time and then the harmony with Byard building dense chords for Rivers to jump off of. On the Connoisseur Series CD (shame on Blue Note once again for making some of its best outside records limited editions; titles like this should be as readily available as Horace Silver's Song for My Father, but the label had been playing it ever so safe for a while and making fans buy the limited number of titles over and again) there are alternate takes of Luminous Monolith and three more of Downstairs Blues Upstairs, making it a very worthwhile look at the entire session.
This is a highly recommended date. Rivers never played quite like this again.
- Thom Jurek1. Fuchsia Swing Song
2. Downstairs Blues Upstairs
3. Cyclic Episode
4. Luminous Monolith
6. Ellipsis$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Wide Open (Pre-Order)Wide Open marks Michael McDonald's first set of original material in 17 years. McDonald wrote Wide Open over several years and recorded the tracks at his Nashville studio with drummer Shannon Forrest (Faith Hill, Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Toto) and a crew of the city's session players and features collaborations with guitarist-singer Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule), guitarist Robben Ford, bassist Marcus Miller and saxophonist Branford Marsalis.LP 1
1. Hail Mary
2. Just Strong Enough
3. Find It In Your Heart
4. Half Truth
5. Ain't No Good
6. Honest Emotion
1. Blessing in Disguise
2. Dark Side
3. If You Wanted to Hurt Me
4. Beautiful Child
5. Too Short
6. Free a Man$25.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed PRE-ORDER Buy Now
JazzmatazzGuru's Jazzmafazz, Vol. 1, originally released in 1993, is one of the first albums to combine a live jazz band with hip hop production and rapping. Guru had a vision and brought together a diverse group of jazz cats both old and new school; Lonnie Liston Smith, Branford Marsalis, Ronny Jordan (check out his solo on the track No Time To Play), Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers and vocalists like Carleen Anderson, N'Dea Davenport (of the Brand New Heavies) and French rapper MC Solaar have cooperated on this classic album.
Jazzmafazz proved to be a highly influential album and a huge commercial success.1. Introduction
3. When You're Near
4. Transit Ride
5. No Time To Play
6. Down The Backstreets
7. Respectful Dedications
8. Take A Look (At Yourself)
9. Trust Me
10. Slicker Than Most
11. Le Bien, Le Mal
12. Sights In The City$37.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Black Codes (From The Underground)Limited Edition - Only 2000 Copies Pressed
Cut at 33 1/3rpm and Pressed on 180g Audiophile-Grade Vinyl at Pallas in Germany!
Mastered From the Original Master Tapes by Bernie Grundman
With his brother Branford (who doubles here on tenor and soprano) often closely emulating Wayne Shorter, and the rhythm section (pianist Kenny Kirkland, bassist Charnett Moffett, and drummer Jeff Watts) sounding a bit like the famous Herbie Hancock-Ron Carter-Tony Williams trio, Wynton is heard at the head of what was essentially an updated version of the mid- to late-'60s Miles Davis Quintet. The music is brilliantly played and displays what the "Young Lions" movement was really about: young musicians choosing to explore acoustic jazz and to extend the innovations of the pre-fusion modern mainstream style.
Limited Edition - Only 2000 Copies Pressed
180g Audiophile-Grade Vinyl
Mastered from original master tapes
Mastered by Bernie Grundman
Pressed at Pallas in Germany
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet
Branford Marsalis, saxophone
Charnett Moffett, bass
Jeff Tain Watts, drums
Ron Carter, bass
Kenny Kirkland, keyboards1. Black Codes
2. For Wee Folks
3. Delfeayo's Dilemma
4. Phryzzinian Man
5. Aural Oasis
6. Chambers of Tain
7. Blues$29.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now