The Branford Marsalis Quartet. Eric Ryan Anderson hide caption

toggle caption
Eric Ryan Anderson

The Branford Marsalis Quartet.

Eric Ryan Anderson

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Branford Marsalis Quartet On JazzSetWBGO

Branford Marsalis Quartet On JazzSet

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/160688406/214419415" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

From January 1992 to September 2001, Branford Marsalis set the JazzSet pace, hosting 39 new shows a year (now we do 26) from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band; festivals in Iowa City, Telluride, Pasadena, Mount Hood, Montreal and Brevard, N.C.; the new music festival in Groningen, the Netherlands, and the Havana Jazz Festival in Cuba; clubs from Yoshi's in California to Sculler's and the Regattabar in Boston. WGBH producer Steve Schwartz sent us lots of Boston sets during that first decade, all of them much appreciated.

Marsalis stepped up and played with his trio at Caravan of Dreams in Fort Worth, and again with his quartet in Washington Square Park at a Greenwich Village Jazz Festival. Son Reese Marsalis (age 12) hosted those shows. Reese was an audience favorite, and his voice has a presence. You can hear him chime in on this edition, where he's sure to make you smile.

Just like JazzSet, personnel changes in the Branford Marsalis Quartet have been few and far between for almost 20 years. His philosophy is that — though the players are consistent — the music should evolve and be challenging, should center on the melody and convey emotions. Hearing is at the heart of playing together, he says, and adds that hearing is not a God-given gift; it's an acquired one.

From a set recorded March 29, 2012, at the Napa Valley Opera House, check out how the first two tunes here end on a dime. The familiar form — repeating the melody plus a coda — is thrown out like an old crutch, no longer needed.

Branford Marsalis' new album is Four MFs Playin' Tunes on Marsalis Music. Nate Chinen of The New York Times says it's a "knockout."

Set List
  • "The Mighty Sword" (Calderazzo)
  • "Maestra" (Revis)
  • "Teo" (Thelonious Monk)
  • "As Summer into Autumn Slips" (Calderazzo)
Personnel
  • Branford Marsalis, saxophones
  • Joey Calderazzo, piano
  • Eric Revis, bass
  • Justin Faulkner, drums
Credits

Thanks to the Napa Valley Opera House in Napa, Calif., for hosting this edition of JazzSet. Thanks to Sherry McAdams of Marsalis Music and Peter Williams at Napa Valley Opera House. Recording by Michael Romanowski of Coast Recorders in San Francisco, with Kyle Heartt and Rob Wacko Hunter. Surround Sound mix by JazzSet technical director Duke Markos.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Meredith D'Ambrosio appears on the cover of her 1981 album Another Time. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Meredith D'Ambrosio On Piano Jazz

The vocalist, pianist, visual artist and teacher joined Marian McPartland in 1994.

Meredith D'Ambrosio On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/504133599/504135813" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lonnie Liston Smith on the cover of Astral Traveling (1973). Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Lonnie Liston Smith On Piano Jazz

One of contemporary music's most versatile keyboardists, Smith joined Marian McPartland in 2002.

Lonnie Liston Smith In The Studio

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/503335536/503336370" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Nellie Lutcher. William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress hide caption

toggle caption William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Nellie Lutcher On Piano Jazz

Hear the vocalist and pianist play her original tunes "Hurry On Down" and "Real Gone Guy."

Nellie Lutcher On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/502487319/502603441" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Richard "Dick" Sudhalter appears on the cover of The Classic Jazz Quartet: The Complete Recordings. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Richard Sudhalter On Piano Jazz

The cornetist and critic performs "Chasing Shadows" with Marian McPartland in a 1992 session.

Richard Sudhalter On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/501714165/501719238" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Billy Strayhorn (right), spent the majority of his career as a composer and arranger for Duke Ellington (left) and his orchestra. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption David Redfern/Getty Images

Jazz Night In America

The Lush Life Of Billy Strayhorn

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

He was remarkable not only for his music, but for living as an openly gay black man in the '40s.

The Lush Life Of Billy Strayhorn

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/500504682/500512491" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jackie Cain and Roy Kral at the Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay, Calif., in 1982. Brian McMillen/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

toggle caption Brian McMillen/Wikimedia Commons

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Jackie And Roy On Piano Jazz

Hear the husband-and-wife duo join Marian McPartland for a trio version of "Joy Spring."

Jackie And Roy On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/497936484/497939089" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Oliver Jones. Michael Slobodian/Michael Slobodian hide caption

toggle caption Michael Slobodian/Michael Slobodian

Jazz Night In America

Oliver Jones: A Canadian Jazz Legend Heads Home

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

In Canada, jazz pianist Oliver Jones is a hero, adored in his native Quebec and across the country.

Oliver Jones: A Canadian Jazz Legend Heads Home

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/497793760/497806357" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Chucho Valdés. Elmer Martinez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Elmer Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Chucho Valdés On Piano Jazz

Hear the innovator in Latin jazz play his original compositions "Claudia" and "Mambo Influenciado."

Chucho Valdés On Piano Jazz

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/496891193/497008290" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top