The album title, which is German for “metamorphoses,” was chosen to emphasize the growth and development of the quartet and each individual member. “We’ve all been practicing,” Marsalis comments, “and you can hear it in the development of the music and in our sound.” Metamorphosen shows the band’s collective bond of deep friendship, respect and musicianship. With more than ten years together under their belt, the saxophonist’s acclaimed ensemble (featuring pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts) pushes the envelope even farther with intense focus, subtlety and excitement.
Recorded and produced by Branford at the Hayti Center in his hometown Durham, NC, Metamorphosen features original compositions by each member of the quartet as well as its unique take on Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm-a-ning”. Among the standout tracks are “Samo ©,” Watts’ dedication to the late visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; the unaccompanied bass feature “And Then, He Was Gone,” in which Revis contemplates his son growing up; and Calderazzo’s moving ballads “The Blossom of Parting” and “The Last Goodbye.” Marsalis’ contribution, “Jabberwocky,” is a challenging 19-bar form that features his first recording on alto saxophone in over two decades.
Metamorphosen is perhaps the Branford Marsalis Quartet’s most accessible album for music lovers of all genres. “We try to do everything,” Marsalis explains. “We run the gamut, and are prepared to play anything at any time. These are incredible musicians who are really good at playing in a variety of styles.” Fans will see the “metamorphoses” first hand as the Branford Marsalis Quartet performs in selected cities across the U.S. in support of the new album, beginning in March 19th at the Jazz Alley in Seattle.
• March 19-22 Seattle, WA Jazz Alley
• March 24-28 Los Angeles, CA Catalina’s
• March 29 San Francisco, CA Palace of Fine Arts
• March 30 Santa Cruz, CA Kuumbwa
• March 31 San Diego, CA Anthology
• April 1 San Diego, CA Anthology
• April 4 Miami, FL Gusman Center for the Arts
• April 5 Philadelphia, PA Annenberg Cntr for Perf. Arts
• April 16 Byron Center, MI Van Singel Fine Arts Center
• April 17 Chicago, IL Orchestra Hall
• April 18 Birmingham, MI First Methodist Church
• May 3 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
• May 5-10 New York, NY Jazz Standard*
(* 2 shows each night, 3rd show Fri & Sat)