Branford Marsalis Quartet On JazzSet Marsalis' philosophy is that the music should evolve and be challenging, should center on the melody and convey emotions. Hear him bring his long-running quartet to the Napa Valley Opera House.

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

Sofia Rei NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Sofia Rei (Home) Concert

The Argentine singer-songwriter performed a three-song set from her Brooklyn apartment for Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST.

Labess NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Labess (Home) Concert

This Algerian and Canadian band recorded its Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST set from Colombia and France.

Cory Henry plays a holiday Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Cory Henry (Home) Concert

The former Snarky Puppy keyboardist and bandleader performs a special holiday Tiny Desk for our quarantine series.

Frans Schellekens/Redferns

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: Joe Zawinul And 50 Years Of Weather Report

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Hear an electric fusion set from keyboardist Joe Zawinul and The Zawinul Syndicate in concert from 2006. We also celebrate 50 years of Weather Report with co-founder Wayne Shorter and other alumni.

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: Joe Zawinul And 50 Years Of Weather Report

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/938653369/938664856" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring bassists Cachao, Andy González, and Charnett Moffett. Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: The History Of Latin Bass

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Hear the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra in 2006, with four virtuoso bassists: Rubén Rodríguez, Charnett Moffett, the late Andy González, and the mighty Cachao, two years before his death.

Crate Digging With Christian McBride: The History Of Latin Bass

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/928739116/928996441" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

GroundUP perform a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

GroundUP Family Dinner (Home) Concert

Gregory Porter, Brad Mehldau and Chris Potter all appear in this 18-musician Tiny Desk quarantine concert, organized by Snarky Puppy's Michael League.

Richard Termine/JALC

Swinging The Clouds Away: Jazz Takes Over Sesame Street

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

On this show, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis invite the Sesame Street gang onstage. Plus, trombonist Joe Fielder's Open Sesame share rare songs from the Sesame songbook.

Swinging The Clouds Away: Jazz Takes Over Sesame Street

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/926696577/926814693" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Nubya Garcia plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Nubya Garcia (Home) Concert

One of the British jazz scene's rising stars performs a quarantine concert on the River Thames.

Anat Cohen and Marcello Gonçalves play a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Anat Cohen And Marcello Gonçalves (Home) Concert

The Israeli clarinetist and Brazilian guitarist recorded this Tiny Desk quarantine performance in Rio de Janeiro.

Back To Top