Branford Marsalis Quartet with Special Guest Kurt Elling - New York City Article

Branford Marsalis Quartet with Special Guest Kurt Elling

Branford Marsalis Quartet with Special Guest Kurt Elling

Jan 17, 2017, 12:00 am

Rose Theater (Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center)

Broadway at 60th Street, 5th Floor, (212) 721 6500

Friday (January 20) and Saturday (January 21)

Perhaps my most played new album last year was “Upward Spiral,” a brilliant collaboration by two formidable mid-career veterans, Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling, solidly in the tradition of such classic team ups as Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson, and even more so, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman. Their central focus is on jazz standards, both famous (“There’s a Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon for New York”) and more obscure (“Blue Gardenia”), while addressing such delightful tangents as Brazilian music (“Só Tinha de Ser Com Você”), contemporary pop (Sting’s “Practical Arrangement”), and even jazz-and-poetry (“Momma Said”), along the way. Perhaps their most arresting duet is an unaccompanied duet on the Sinatra-centric “I’m a Fool to Want You.” This weekend at Rose Hall, they’ll re-establish once again what the album has already proved, that the timbre of the tenor saxophone and that of the male baritone voice come from the same place in the heart.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)