The more passionate fans of saxophonist Branford Marsalis might be disappointed with 'Upward Spiral' (Marsalis Music/Okeh Records) because this could be construed as a Kurt Elling vocalese CD with the quartet merely backing him up. Elling achieves a strong Chet Baker nodding-out-on-heroin style, true, and Branford is still one of today's greats, but the news of a new Branford was more exciting than actually listening to the new Branford.
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The John Coltrane Quartet performed their greatest work, 1964's 'A Love Supreme,' only once on a stage. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of this seminal jazz recording, tenor saxophonist Branford Marsalis recreates that love on stage in Holland at the Bimhuis--a space beloved by musicians since 1973, since no food or drink is allowed to be sold in the room itself.
Branford Marsalis, brother to the esteemed Wynton, has toured the world with some of jazz's greatest minds: Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. In a recent interview at the San Antonio Current, Marsalis talks everything from classical to his gripe with Jay Z.
Novelist/playwright Walter Mosley is collaborating with Branford Marsalis on a musical adaptation of the 1995 noir film based on Mosley's "Easy" Rawlins novel.